“Here is one of the most beautiful fruits of grace—a heart that is content, more given to worship than demand and more given to the joy of gratitude than the anxiety of want.“— Paul Tripp
The thing I covet most is quiet, stillness, peaceful surroundings. My introversion seeks that quiet even though we have an empty nest and many of my days are quiet and still. It is not that I live in a noisy world and long for a few moments of peace. It’s that I have quiet, and sometimes I find it difficult to be contented with what I have. More than that, it’s not just the sounds of silence I long for, but for a quiet spirit, a mind at rest.
Silence is praise to you,Psalm 65:1 MSG
And also obedience.
You hear the prayer in it all.
A friend mentioned the other day that she tried to cultivate a quiet spirit while walking. She turned off her music, her podcasts, breathed deeply to take in the pastoral nature around her. It was only a few minutes when she realized her mind was disrupting the quiet with planning, questions, past conversations, and more. She was disillusioned and turned her music back on.
Henri Nouwen wrote, “In solitude, I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me—naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken—nothing. It is this nothingness that I have to face in my solitude, a nothingness so dreadful that everything in me wants to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe that I am worth something.” Why is it we feel so vulnerable when we mentally bow before God’s throne and make ourselves still? Satan clearly wants us to believe we are not worthy, not accepted, not invited. And so true – we bring nothing worthy with us – EXCEPT that Jesus, our Redeemer, friend, and brother has invited us, made the way open for us that we can smile, relax, and enjoy the interlude and conversation with the Father.
It is in that quiet place at our center that we hear the whispers of the Redeemer of our souls.source unknown
Being still before God with a content heart – oh my – my prayer!
not just in body, but especially in mind, in thought
canceling the replaying of the day in my head
setting aside the planning of conversations for tomorrow
emptying myself to enter His throne room
withdrawing to the inner holy of holies
listening intently for the Shepherd’s voice
waiting, resting, abiding contentedly
As I ponder the many things for which I am grateful, God’s invitation to quiet and still my soul before Him as a weaned child comes to mind today.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God,Psalm 62:5-6 NLT
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
Be still, my soul! for God will undertakeKatharina A. von Schlegel, 1855
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.