May 8, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God. Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.


Psalm 46:10


While the Psalm we see above uses the word “still,” I want to suggest that we hear it as “silent.” I think that silence and stillness go hand in hand. And silence today is a lost commodity. People everywhere have air pods in their ears seemingly all the time, and one never knows whether they are on a call or listening to something. Our cars have radios that are always on; our homes have TVs that are always on, even when we are not engaged in watching them. (I confess, this is me!)


We call it “white noise,” using sound to drown out other sounds. Or are we avoiding silence?


The spiritual practice of silence—being still and silent in order to listen to God—is a practice that we desperately need in our world today. In his book, The Grand Essentials, Ben Patterson tells this story:


"It was the noon hour rush on a steamy July day and two men were pushing their way through the crowds in New York City’s Times Square. They practically shouted as they tried to hear each other above the din. One man was a native New Yorker, the other was a Native American from Oklahoma.


The [Oklahoman] stopped suddenly and said to his friend, ‘Listen! Can you hear the cricket?’


His friend was incredulous. ‘Are you kidding?’ he laughed. ‘How could anyone hear a cricket in this bedlam? You just think you heard it.’


The [man] didn't argue. He just said, ‘Come over here and look.’ He walked over to a planter that was holding a large shrub, and pointed at the dead leaves in the bottom. To his amazement, the New Yorker saw a cricket.


‘You must have an extraordinary pair of ears,’ he exclaimed.


‘No better than yours. It just depends on what you are listening for. Watch this.’


He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of nickels, dimes, and quarters. He then dropped them on the sidewalk. People everywhere turned to look where the sound came from—some as far as three blocks away!


‘See what I mean?’ he said.‘It all depends on what you are listening for.’”


The only way we can truly hear God, friends, is to listen to—and for—the Lord in the midst of silence. It’s not easy. It is simple, but not easy. Yet if you wish to hear from God, you need to be silent.

For Reflection

When was the last time you were alone, still, and silent for more than a couple of minutes? (Sleeping does not count!)

When in your schedule can you create a regular routine of 5-10 minutes of stillness and silence?


O God who speaks in the silence of a still, small voice, we long to hear from You. We confess that our lives are filled with sound, voices, and noise. Create within us the ability—and the desire—to be still and silent, and hear You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Dr. Chuck Roberts
Senior Associate Pastor