Are You Drowning Out the Power of Quietness?

I started this blog post last week Friday, three days before the ice/snow storm began. I couldn’t seem to finish it that day, but I can see that the delay may have been intentional! Here is what I wrote last week:

Twenty-four hours ago I decided to step back from social media for a bit. Not sure how long it will be, but felt a desire to simplify life for a little while. It amazes me in this short time how strangely quiet life has become.
In the midst of this twenty-four hours God has brought something to my awareness, and it has to do with the POWER of quietness.

Yesterday in a conversation, someone was telling me how they can’t sleep unless the TV is on. This person admittedly struggles with anxiety and even has health complications from it. As we discussed this, I recalled past times when I couldn’t sleep unless the TV was on. That’s when God spoke to me and said, “They’re drowning out the quietness.”

Let’s look at the meaning of “drowning out:”
* for a sound to be so loud that someone or something cannot be heard. [The noise of the passing train drowned out our conversation. The train drowned us out.]
* to make it impossible to hear something [The plane was flying so low, the roar of its engines drowned out our conversation.]

I never got back to writing more until today when God reminded me about it. And interestingly enough, the time in between the initial writing and today includes 3-4 days of Atlanta becoming VERY QUIET.

I was only away from social media for three days, but what a difference indeed. During that time I had shut off my notifications via email and phone, as well as turned off all comments and disabled my wall for public posting. The peace was incredible! The quietness was beautiful! So now, even though I’ve returned to social media, I am leaving these features off. I can post what is on my heart and read friends posts too, but my phone, email and notifications are no longer overwhelming me.

Since Atlanta has been shut down this week, I saw many posts about people being stir-crazy with nowhere to go and unable to take care of business as usual. And I admit to struggling with this myself. But I can’t help but wonder if God didn’t allow this freak storm simply to slow us down and get us to be quiet for a minute.

* It’s during times of quietness that we begin to reflect inwardly.
* It’s during times of quietness that we can hear the still small voice of God within.
* It’s during times of quietness that we must face all the issues of life that we have stuffed down deep inside of us and perhaps continually avoid dealing with.

I believe God wants us to learn to be quiet so we can get to know Him more and quit burying the issues we strive so hard to avoid.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. Ps 23:2-3

Are you avoiding quietness?

Perhaps some of the circumstances of your life are happening right now because God is leading you to be quiet.

When things get quiet do you get uncomfortable? If so, you must learn to take your discomfort to God and ask Him to help you. I begin by saying “Lord, what is this feeling I’m having? What is the root of it?” Sometimes it takes a little time to get clarity, but God is always faithful to reveal the root of my issues. It could be fear, unforgiveness (toward yourself or someone else), guilt, shame, insecurity or any number of things that are spiritual in nature. Getting free from these things is what God desires for us, but we must learn to be quiet. God wants to clean up the “shards of glass” that are deep within us that have the potential to make us bleed. Here is a previous blog post about this: https://maryloveslife.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/shards-of-glass/

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom 12:1-2

Do not rely any longer on the pattern of this world, which is to drown out quietness with the noise of the world. Allow yourself to get quiet with God so He can renew your mind. Pray these scriptures and then be quiet and listen:

Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong. How painful are honest words! Job 6:24-25

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps 139:23-24

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You. Ps 51:7-13

Last week (also before the storm) God told me this:

“THESE ARE VOLATILE TIMES: BRACE YOURSELF ON ME. ALL OTHER BRACES WILL BE SHAKEN & WILL FAIL YOU. BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.”

Don’t put your hope, trust and security in people, in systems, your job, the economy, government, your home, your vehicle, your 401K, your bank account, YOUR ABILITY, YOUR SKILLS, or your PLANS…they will all fail you. He is desperate and jealous for you. HE WANTS YOUR HEART.

GOD is 100% in control and we have NO control. This reality must be understood for us to come to a place of ultimate trust in Him.

Too often today, people find their identity in their position, title, job, etc. and even in their busyness. But God wants us to find our ultimate identity in WHOSE WE ARE…to know that our value comes not from what we DO but WHO WE ARE.

He is our portion. He wants to be enough.

Remember:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” Isa 30:15

Everything else you place your trust in will fail.

Turn off the noise and be quiet today.

Shhhhhhh… QUIET PLEASE: TEACHING AND LEARNING IN PROGRESS.

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About Mary L'Esperance Held
http://www.maryloveslife.org

3 Responses to Are You Drowning Out the Power of Quietness?

  1. Christine says:

    This was very good reading. Deep…
    ThanX for sharing.

  2. Charles says:

    Ms Mary, as always, right on point….so many people want to hear from God, but have some much ‘stuff’ filling their minds and ears. God’s reminded me more than once or twice that even listening to spiritual music, sermons or talk can and will keep me from just remaining still and hearing him. Oswald Chambers talked the other day about ‘getting alone with God’ great reading if you haven’t already seen it (My utmost for His highest)…luv ya, C

  3. Danni says:

    After I emailed you today, I read this; it was a word RIGHT ON TIME. I literally feel uncomfortable with all the quietness I’ve experienced this week. Completely away from facebook, away from work, unable to leave the house; I feel as though I am on a desolate island against my will. It’s difficult to remember God’s presence and pulling in these times, but it is certainly a MUST. Thanks for this post: it was a needed reminder!

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