When I was younger, I struggled with quietness. I wanted to always be in the action and sitting in silence seemed like a huge waste of time. Now that I am older, I appreciate the quietness much more. I have matured enough to let myself have my mountaintop moments of quiet meditation and it has benefitted me a great deal.
God would have us all know the value of quietness. In Psalm 46:10 he reminds us to, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 37:7 tells us to, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” And finally, James gives similar advice saying in James 1:19, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
In quietness we have the ability to listen for that still small voice of God. It allows us to shed the world for a moment and concentrate on the things that truly matter. It has the ability to reconnect us to the Father as we exhale from the tensions of life.
Jesus knew this well. Three times in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1:35; 6:46; 14:32-39), Jesus took advantage of some quiet time to connect with His Father in Heaven. Each of these moments also represented an important time in His ministry.
Mark 1:35 speaks of a time Jesus came to His Father in a desolate place to take advantage of the quietness to pray. No doubt He was praying about the journey He was to begin that would bring people the Good News of His coming. Before He begins, He consults His Father as both a sign of His devotion and as an example of where we should go at the beginnings of our own journeys through life. Just as we should do, Jesus embraced the quietness to better focus on the guidance of His Father.
In Mark 6:46, Jesus had just fed the 5000 and had sent His disciples ahead of Him, “And after He had taken leave of them, He went up on the mountain to pray.” Christ knew better than anyone that after a hard day, some quiet time with the Father is the best tonic for rejuvenation. Soon He would leave to walk on the water.
Finally, in Mark 14:32-39, Jesus takes time for a quiet moment with His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew what He was soon to face and He needed His Abba to give Him strength. He wanted no distractions, just His Father to give Him courage to face the trials ahead.
Quietness can be one of God’s greatest gifts to us when the chaos of living has begun to overcome us. When Jesus prayed, He chose to pray at night and in a lonely place, apart from anyone who might disturb the silence.
It would be wise for us to take on His example every now and then, “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
God has gifted us the quietness, but to take advantage we need to shed the noise, the commotion and the madness of everyday life. To do this I invite you to find your own secluded place apart from the crowd. It might be a spot by the beach, a special place in the woods or even a closet in your own home. Find a place of quietness to reconnect with God, just as Christ did.
Remember, “The Lord God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). Trust in Him to lead you as you pray, listening for His still small voice, and know He is God. Take a deep breath, embrace the silence and come before your Lord. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, still our hearts and minds and teach us to come to you in quiet places. Give us peace in our struggles and contentment in our souls. Lead us to the quietness we seek. Amen.