I love the beach; it’s peaceful, serene and quiet. Green waves rumble onto the shore. Soft sounds drown out all distractions, leaving only peace, only grace, only God. The sky is dark and stormy; the cool wind blows my hair back. Sand nestles between my toes with grainy nuisance. Even though 3,000 people may be 200 yards beyond me on either direction, the only sound I hear is waves slowly coming in.
In those peaceful quiet moments God appears. God is in everything except what we force. I find God in my girlfriend—when I see that twinkle in her eyes that reminds me God has left a little piece of Himself behind. I can see little pieces of Him in the ocean, the wind, the silence or even myself. Sometimes I doubt that He left a little of Himself in me, but other times it’s evident He’s still there.
God created us, so how can we catch a glimpse of Him? I’d say we could see Him if we would quit looking at the things we’ve made and enjoy the things He’s already given. He’s in a quiet peaceful rest on the porch during a rainstorm or in a night under the stars and in a day full of sun.
Jesus would often steal away to quiet, secluded places, and many times I find myself wanting the same thing: to take time away from noise, people and distractions. The quiet would let me think and find out what in the world is actually going on with my life. God calls us to silence. He revealed Himself not in an earthquake but in a quiet whisper. Why would He do that? Why would He come so quietly? That’s probably because He wants us to come to Him without Him having to scream. He wants us to want Him enough to come only by the smallest impression given by His presence.
Jesus’ times of quiet seclusion were spent in prayer. Hardly any of my secluded time is spent that way, but it is spent reveling in His power. I am naturally terrible at prayer. I can never seem to remember what to pray for. But I feel close to Him in those quiet moments when I turn my radio off and listen to my car shift gears and hear the wind come in through my window and cool my face. I smile and enjoy His gift of wind, the stars and the silence.
Being around people constantly wears me out. Crowded places and busy cities are the epitome of what I don’t enjoy. Everyone has to be somewhere fast and now. I’ve spent the beginning part of my life in that world. I never had a chance to be quiet. Every moment was consumed with constant noise. There was no time for peace or for God. I drowned Him out. I used everything and anything to make it to where I couldn’t hear my own Creator and Savior. I know I missed out on moments that should’ve have been spent in solitude listening for anything to guide me.
Now my nights are spent quietly on my porch writing and reading about what God has sent me. Every night I try to go on my porch and listen to the crickets and write down how God wants us to apply His Word. I sit and toil over a passage or writing and discover how He wants me to use it the next day, when the calm disappears and the noise sets in.
Life is quiet especially during those months and weeks where God seems … absent. There are black periods where prayers bounce off an invisible ceiling. But the silence is where we seek Him. Those times are when He is planning the next phase for you, preparing your future. My nearly two years in the dark brought me out with a future with so many answers and possibilities. He took that silence and made me into a person that trusts Him whole-heartedly.
Tonight go outside after dark with a cup of cold water (or coffee or Mountain Dew), Bible, piece of paper and pen. Sit and just soak up the silence. (I’ll do this tonight and probably get eaten alive by mosquitoes, but sometimes that’s the price you pay for God’s presence). Pick a book, maybe Romans or Acts, and read from headline to headline. Write down how it applies to everyday life. I’ve had to reread passages four times before I found something, but in the quiet peace, God is there. You will find Him in the quiet, listen for the whispers … don’t drown Him out.