Searching for Silence

img_5334“Life can be full of noise. The noise filling our life reminds us our life is full. When life is full of noise, the rare moments of silence are especially wonderful. Silence has a way of revealing the already presence of God.”

“And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” — 1 Kings 19:12-13

My son, JE, was sitting with me the other night as I ate my dinner! The twin’s “witching hour” begins around dinner time so we have learned to eat in shifts. Ginny had already eaten and she was walking one of the boys in the living room. JE offered me company as I finished off a helping of Chicken Divan.

The twins are very happy babies, but they can be a little fussy in the evening. The sounds of an infant’s cry is not an uncommon backdrop to our family dinners. The cry of the baby did not disturb JE or me. I continued to eat. He continued being JE.

To my surprise, the unexpected occurred. The house grew silent!

Ginny is a rockstar mom! Y’all would be super impressed. This particular night, Ginny was able to calm the boys before I had even finished eating. As the noise faded away and our house began to fill with silence, JE looked at me and asked, “Daddy Ross, what’s that noise?” I offered a grin and replied, “Buddy, that noise is silence!”

All sorts of noise can fill our lives. Noise is not altogether bad, though. The noise filling our lives can remind us of the fullness of our lives! My hurried dinners may be filled with the noise of a toddler at play, my wife being rockstar mom (so I can fill my belly), and the accompaniment of twin’s crying in unison, but it was not so long ago I ate in the silence of that empty house! My house may be full of noise, but only because God has blessed me with a full house.

Our lives may be full of noise, but the noise can mean God has filled our lives with blessing!

The blessing of God can surely be discovered in the noise of our life. While our life may be full of blessed noise, rare moments of silence become something special. Rare moment of silence reveal the blessings of God in equally powerful ways.

God’s revelation in silence is best displayed through Elijah’s encounter of God at Mt. Horeb.  The Israelites had forsaken their covenant with God. Elijah stood alone in his reverence and obedience to God (and, if isolation was not enough, his adversaries were pursuing him). The Lord instructed Elijah prepare himself because the Lord would pass before him. Elijah peered out from the cave, where he was hiding, in search of God. There was a great wind, which split mountain and broke rocks, but Elijah did not see God in the wind. There was an earthquake, but Elijah did not see God in the earthquake. There was a fire, but Elijah did not see God in the fire. Finally, there was the sound of sheer silence. Elijah humbled himself for the presence of the Lord was revealed to Elijah in the silence. 

God is certainly in the noise of life. Sometimes we are not able to see God because the noise becomes our distraction. Silence is necessary. Silence clears our distraction. Silence reveals the already presence of the God we fail to acknowledge.

JE was not satisfied with my response. He stopped moving. His face wore an expression of concentration. I, too, began listen. What was my son hearing? In the far distance, well beyond the walls of our house, birds were singing their evening song. I said to JE, “Is that what you hear?” He nodded.

I picked JE up and I carried him to our back steps. We sat for a moment…in the silence…and we listened.

The noise had faded. Silence filled our house. A group of birds sang their evening song.

We listened, but only for a moment. Our dog came bounding out of the house. He found his ball and began rolling around in the grass. He barked in excitement. The noise began to return. But, for a moment, all was silent. The evening song of a few birds revealed the already presence of God.

Life is full of noise. A life full of noise is often the sign of a life full of blessing. When life is full of noise, rare moments of silence become especially important – for the silence has a way of revealing the already presence of God! If life seems a little noisy these days, search for silence and discover the presence of God already around you!

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