As soon as I got in the car, I hit “play” only to find that there were no CDs loaded in my CD player. After a few minutes of silence, I started to flip through the radio stations. I didn’t really like any of them, but they were better than listening to nothing.
When I arrived at the house where I was house sitting, no familiar voice welcomed me, no music played from upstairs bedrooms, no pots and pans clattered in the kitchen. There was no sound. Zilch.
I dropped my stuff on the dining room table and walked into the family room. There, curled up in an armchair, was my only companion for the next three days: Ms. Kitty. Sitting down next to her, I could hear the clock upstairs ticking and a neighbor’s dog barking in the distance. I couldn’t stand the silence, so I walked over to turn the TV on—not to watch it, but to banish the quietness.
I realized that day how much I like noise in the background, whether it’s voices, the radio, or television. There’s just something comforting about it. In fact, if it’s too quiet, I get lonely.
I like “noise” in all areas of my life . . . I love being busy
My love for busyness has, in fact, turned into a (sometimes awful) habit of not being able to sit still. I’m always doing something—calling, writing, exercising, writing . . . and while it’s good to make the most of my days, I also need to remember that working for Christ does not draw me nearer to Christ.
I wonder, How often do I miss my Savior’s voice because I’m too occupied with “noise”?
Sometimes I’m busy with good things, like helping others, writing a new article, or cleaning the house. But often I get so busy serving God that my time with Him is cut short.
Tozer puts it well: “Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10), and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence.” —A. W. Tozer
But silence is not something we experience very often. With iPhones attached to our fingers and headphones glued to our ears, God can barely get a word in edgewise. How often do we stop bombarding our minds with noise and listen to the Lord? Why don’t we silence our phones and give God the opportunity to speak?
At times I avoid silence because I don’t want to listen
I mean, what if God asks me to do something I don’t want to do? It’s a difficult position to be in! I have to remember that while He may ask me to do something difficult, He never does it to harm me. What’s more, He promises to be right there with me as I do it. “I will never leave nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, ESV).
Yes, what God asks may be overwhelming—more than you think you can handle—but as Katie shares, “I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle. Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving himself by doing the impossible in our lives . . . He reminds me that all of this life requires more of him and less of me. God does give us more than we can handle. Not maliciously, but intentionally, in love, that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no doubt of who is in control, that people may see his grace and faithfulness shining through our lives” —Katie Davis (emphasis mine)
Are you, like me, afraid that God may ask something difficult of you? Is the noise of your life simply drowning out God’s voice?
In silence, God will speak. He will give us the opportunity to display His love and faithfulness to those around us through our obedience. Will you join me in the pursuit of silence?