In the Quiet

In 2 Kings 19, the LORD tells Elijah to go stand on the mountain because He is going to pass by. A great wind then tore the mountain apart. After the wind, there was an earthquake and then a fire. After the fire came a gentle whisper and that was where the LORD revealed Himself to Elijah.

I love to pray. Many years ago, I started a daily ritual of prayer walking. When the LORD called my sweet daughter home five years ago, with my momma heart broken, I knew I needed Him like never before. And, so I walked, crying, pleading and pouring my heart out to Him. The LORD then slowly started bringing people into my life whose precious children had also passed away. My walks grew longer as I prayed for healing and comfort for my new friends. Our growing church family and a mission trip to Uganda brought more people into my heart and more needs to intercede for. I found a new route, down an alley and up a little hill, as my prayer time grew longer. Month after month, the pain grew dimmer and my joy was restored. Years later, I’m in awe at the incredible work of healing that the LORD has done in me. I truly believe that my time spent with Him in prayer has helped bring about this miracle.

Lately, I’ve felt that something was missing. While I spend time with the LORD, I’m doing all the talking. I do sit quietly at times and let the LORD speak to me, but I sensed that He wanted more of me in this way. But, way too often, I let my busyness, even my “service” to Him, keep me distracted from just being with Him.

A friend introduced me to a little book simply called Quiet by AJ Sherrill. In it, Sherrill says “At some point our relationship with God demands we move away from words, away from noise and away from the mental chatter toward discovering God in the quiet, the stillness and the silence.” I knew this was true and vowed to spend time with the LORD in silence.

And, I sat; finding I so enjoyed just being in His Presence. At times, He spoke loving words of encouragement. He often filled my soul with peace, hope and joy. Not long ago, awake in the middle of the night, rain falling gently, I sat quietly aware of His goodness in sending much needed showers. Gratitude welled up, as I thought of other provisions He bestows on us.

On New Year’s Eve, I took my prayer walk on a Florida gulf coast beach near my mom’s house. The sun was warm and the water cool, as I walked. My heart was thankful for the gift of a beautiful week spent with family and friends. Wanting to just be quiet with Jesus, I hopped up on a wall.  His handiwork captivated me – the sky was a brilliant blue, the waves pounded on the shore and even the sand was beautiful. And, so I gazed. I tried not to talk.  I wanted to just sit and take it all in, but I couldn’t stop thanking Him for blessing me in so many ways. Gratitude bubbled up inside of me - I couldn’t contain it and I didn’t even want to.

These times of quiet are drawing me in, leaving me wanting more. With any good relationship, there’s a time to speak and a time to listen. This new way of spending time with the LORD is precious. In the quiet, I can hear Him speak and my soul needs His voice. I believe, though, that He loves my words of intercession, gratitude and praise. No doubt, I’ll keep talking, but I’ll also spend more time with Him in silence. I’ve found that both ways of being with Him are simply perfect.

Contributed by Joanne LaBuda.