All around us.
ALL. THE. TIME.
From political antics to celebrity gossip–podcasts to endless playlists–news feeds to tweets–there is constantly something warring for our attention. We are bombarded everyday with distractions.
In my life, I have seen this take the most damaging toll on my spiritual life. When I am busy and constantly distracted, it leaves little room for me to have the bandwidth to sit quietly in the presence of God. And the busier I get–the more distracted I become–the less I hear God.
I think we live in a time where silence actually makes people uncomfortable. Maybe we are so concerned with being heard and not feeling silenced by others that we hurry to fill all our quiet moments. We forget that it’s only when we embrace silence that we make ourselves available to hear God clearly.
Some of my most memorable encounters with God have happened after I poured my heart out to Him in prayer and then patiently waited in silence for Him to unfold His plans in my heart.
I believe that our Heavenly Father longs to commune with us daily–multiple times throughout the day. But our distractions–the noise–keep that from happening. How many times have I come to God in prayer seeking guidance or discernment and quickly “wrapped up” my prayer and moved on with the rest of my day. I don’t do this in other relationships in my life. I don’t ask my husband an important question and then abruptly leave the room before he has the chance to respond. That would be ridiculous!
So why do I behave this way with God. Why? If I’m being completely honest, part of me feels that maybe my prayer life lacks deeper faith. I’ve become accustomed to coming before God in prayer, but not anticipating He’ll actually answer me in that moment. I believe I’ve come to a place of expecting God to take His time answering my prayers, but I realize now that there are probably many times when I am simply not giving Him time to respond.
What could happen if I came to God first, with the goal of communing with Him–spending devoted time worshiping Him and thanking Him for His goodness and mercy. And then seeking His will with a heart of anticipation and actually sitting in silence and listening to His still small voice. I know what will happen, because it’s happened before. God will meet me in that space and speak to my heart.
He’s not going to compete with the noise in our lives. He’s God. We have to take the time to quiet our minds and our hearts first.
Embrace. The. Silence.
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13