A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had a discussion on “awkward silence”. When there’s a long pause in a conversation, we silly humans feel we have to fill that void with something just because we’re a bit uncomfortable. I read that researchers say we fear silence and I believe they’re right—when my husband is out of town, I have to sleep with the television on. Do any of you do that?
In Hebrew, to “be still” can mean any of the following: to let drop, to let go, to abandon, to relax, to let alone, and to be quiet. Do we find it difficult to “be still” before the LORD because of our society’s tendency towards busyness, instant gratification and our intimidation with silence? I believe it is a combination of all three, but I honestly think being quiet is the biggest factor because of all the noise we live in and also because it’s way too easy for us to turn on music (or even the television for background noise) when we feel uneasy or insecure in the silence. If we do this during our quiet time, noise can take away from our listening to the LORD. Noise is a distraction—we need silence so we can hear and pay attention! When we have a conversation with a friend, it would be very rude to talk, text on our phone, or even turn on some music while they’re talking, so why do this when we have our quiet time with the LORD?
Back to my conversation with my hubby on “awkward silence”. He told me that in his business meetings, he uses a strategy that actually allows silence after a question; he said this permits time for thinking. He explained that it really is okay for long periods of silence, because it takes people out of their comfort zone and they have to mull over the question instead of him just answering his own question. In Chapter 9 “of Let.It.Go.”, Karen writes that “Selah” means to “pause and listen” or “to stop and think of that.” On further investigation, I found that some theologians say “Selah” is an “exclamation that we should measure and reflect upon what has been said.” For me this week, this meant to sit quietly before the LORD for a period of time, read His Word and then contemplate His Word. When I spent time with Him— first quiet, then time in His Word—I was able to reflect on what I read and get even more out of it. I spent time praising Him, worshiping Him and thanking Him for my quiet time.
Last Friday Stephanie Clayton gave us the assignment to “get still and silent before the Lord”. It was something I desperately needed—my soul desperately needed!! While I have been praying for my group, reading my Bible and studying the lessons, I haven’t been “still” before the LORD. I needed that. If you need help today in being silent, there are some links over to the right of my post that are worth reading.
Some “be still” Scriptures:
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! 1 Samuel 12:16
Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Job 37:14
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7a
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10a
Be still before the Lord. Zechariah 2:13a