February 5, 2024
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5
Silence and solitude are hard to find. We are constantly surrounded by noise and activity. Even if we manage to seclude ourselves the “ping” of our phones ever beckons us to a place of distraction and entertainment. Some noise we can’t avoid, but some we pick. When was the last time you drove in complete silence or stood in a line without looking at your phone. Between work, busy schedules and the need to constantly be connected, we rarely embrace silence and solitude. But, Jesus embraced it regularly.
All throughout the New Testament Jesus pulled away from the crowds for time alone with his Father. Before beginning his public ministry he went to the desert and after hearing of John the Baptist’s death, he retreated for solitude and prayer. Alone time spent with his Heavenly Father was vital to Jesus’ life and it should be in ours as well.
In fact, God encourages us to step away from the chaos and into his arms. Silence and solitude offer us one way to do that. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus tells us to find our rest in him when we are weary and burdened. We don’t have to come with all the answers or any words at all. He simply wants our presence with him. Silence and solitude remind us that we aren’t alone. We have a God who is with us in the noise and in the silence. Our souls find peace in the chaos only when we rest in our Lord (Psalm 62:5).
Creating space for silence isn’t easy. Silence can feel useless and unproductive. It can draw our attention to emotions we would rather avoid. It can make us uncomfortable and antsy. But no matter how awkward it may feel, silent time with our Lord, tunes our hearts to him. We get to know our Heavenly Father more, every time we sit in silence, listening to him. And, the more we listen, the more we see his fingerprints all throughout the day. As one author explains, “silence and solitude free us from our addiction to noise so we can be completely present with the Lord.”
This week I invite you to add moments of silence to your routine. This discipline doesn’t require a silent retreat or even an hour every morning, although both would be impactful. Snagging the smallest of moments is great. Maybe it’s 5 minutes before you get out of bed, when kids aren’t awake yet. Perhaps it’s one part of your commute, where you turn off the radio. No matter how small, embrace those moments as precious chances to lay your burdens at your Father’s feet and listen to his answer of love. As you do, may your heart find rest in Him.
Father, we thank you for Jesus’ example of practicing silence and solitude. May we follow his lead and strive to incorporate moments of silence into our days. Thank you for reminding us that we don’t carry our burdens alone. As we come before you in silence may we experience your grace covering us and filling us with peace. It is in your son’s name that we pray, Amen.
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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