In the mid-1960’s Paul Simon wrote a song that became popular entitled “The Sound of Silence”. If you are old enough, you may recall it being played on pop radio stations back then. The lyrics paint a dim view of silence and perhaps reflect what causes us to feel uncomfortable with silence many times.
Before you dispute experiencing discomfort in the midst of silence, consider times when you are with a friend or small group and it suddenly gets silent. Most often someone (or you) feel compelled to fill the silence with words. Only in the most intimate relationships do we tend to relax with periods of silence. It is in those relationships that we feel safe, secure, relaxed, and assured of the love of those persons.
How do we respond to silence in our spiritual life?
When we very much need or want to hear from the Lord about something and He appears to remain silent, we all can struggle with His delayed response. We want the reassurance of His presence even if He is not giving us the solution we desire.
But what does it feel like when you sit with the Lord? Are you at ease being silent or does it feel more comfortable to keep speaking to Him whether in prayer or a journal? For many of us, silence when we are with the Lord can feel awkward or even frightening. We are wired to doing in our relational connections with people and also with God.
When we are sitting in silence with the Lord we can have two competing fears assail us. One…He will not speak to us. Two…He may speak to us.
But there is also something else that sitting in silence awakens in us. We begin to get in touch with the noise inside that our busyness drowns out much of the time. Silence can shock and overwhelm us with the amount of cacophony happening within us; then again we can begin to discover more about ourselves. We might learn what is making us so irritable or feeling so isolated and disconnected.
Sitting in silence means discovering how tired we truly are. It means setting aside our agendas for a bit to allow ourselves to experience a deep breath and consider what would nourish us again.
I love the quote I ended my recent post with by Gunilla Norris in Sharing Silence:
“When we make room for silence we make room for ourselves…Silence invites the unknown, the untamed, the wild, the shy, the unfathomable – that rarely has a chance to surface within us.”
When we sit with the Lord in silence, we allow Him to lead.
Perhaps we fear that more than we realize because it means letting go of what we think our relationship ought to be and letting Him make it into that level of intimacy that can only happen when we allow Him to lead.
Be assured to choose to sit for even ten minutes in silence with the Lord will be a battle. Depending on how tired we are and what season we are in, we may find it harder to do than we expect. Even so, I think He is often waiting for us to do just that…sit with Him without praising, petitioning or pleading.
After all, if we are His, we are betrothed to Him as a part of the Bride of Christ. If you have known intimate human love, it was not hard to sit in deep contentment with that person and have no need to fill the space with words. Should it not be true when we are with Him? He is the lover of our soul and companion as well as Savior, Lord, King of Kings, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and Son of Man.
In her book Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence Ruth Barton says it best:
“Solitude, then, is all about desire. It is about lovers desiring each other enough to finally take the leap into trust, uninhibited expression. It is about friends saying, ‘I want to be with you so badly that I’ll rearrange everything so that we can see each other.”
33 thoughts on “Sounds of Silence”
Thank you for your wisdom! When Jesus was on earth, he would seek silence. Our role model!
Thanks, Linda, He is indeed the role model for each of us!!😊
Beautifully written words and at the same time challenging. Sometimes that’s exactly what we need to wake us up and cause us to look at how we are doing something. Only then can we start to make needed changes. I admit I don’t spend that quiet time with the Lord; thank you for the reminder to do so. Thank you so much for sharing with us at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty! Pinned and shared.
Thank you, Teresa, I try to seek the Lord’s heart in choosing the words and theme for each post. Thanks for your gracious encouraging words and for pinning and sharing what the Lord led me to write. Blessings on your day!💕
Good words about silence! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday at Mommynificent.com!
Visiting you from Imparting Grace link up. This post was exactly what I needed to read today. I had study with a friend today and we were talking about how we each need to take more time to be silent with the Lord. I loved Ruth Haley Barton’s book, I read it years ago. I think that it is time to pull it off the shelf again. Thank you for the encouragement to spend more time in silence with the Lover of my soul. Sweet blessings to you!
I am so glad to hear the Lord blessed and encouraged you today by what I wrote. Thanks for encouraging my heart by taking time to comment! Have a blessed time with the Lord!💕
Silence can be scary and discouraging, especially when we are waiting on God to come through for us. It can make us feel left out and overlooked. For the past couple years, God has been working on me to be more silent and still before Him, to talk less and listen more, even if He says nothing for a long time. This challenges me to focus more on Him, on praising Him for who He is and what He’s done in the past, instead of focusing on me and always asking for more. And you are so right that it helps us learn to let Him lead. It helps purify our trust, our motives, our faith, and it shows us who is really on the throne in our lives and any areas of self-sufficiency. Silence has been one of the greatest teachers, if I slow down and take the time and effort to what listen to what happens in the silence.
Thanks so much for sharing this, Heather. I so appreciate your heart and how the Lord has been moving to allow you to feel safe in His arms when you are silent and be assured He is there with you. I love this encouragement!! Blessings on your walk with Him as He transforms you more and more into His likeness!💕
I’ve definitely learned to be quiet before the Lord and listen for His voice. I’m not sure what would happen if I put Him on a timer for 10 minutes. If He wells up praise in my heart or the need for confession, I believe I would be disrespecting Him not to obey right away.
But this is definitely some good food for thought. I know I could do a better job at being silent before Him on a daily basis. Thanks for bringing this need to our attention.
I so appreciate with you shared here. I would not put Him on a timer, but sometimes I need a timer to slow myself down. My quiet times with Him definitely include responding to the Holy Spirit leading. What I believe we can sometimes forget to do is to allow Him time for that with us if we are doing most all of the talking. I used to tell those I was working with that not taking time when we are praying or worshipping to pause and allow His response to us could be akin to calling someone we love on the phone and talking away for the whole time and then hanging up without being quiet to allow them to respond. You clearly experience quietness that allows Him to speak to nudge you to praise or confession, but that is not true for others. I think our transformation takes place within the context of all the spiritual disciplines that gives Him opportunity to speak, mold, and shape us as He will.💕