I hope this past weekend you had an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice for you. Perhaps you attended a Good Friday service to be more purposeful about thinking on the cross and what it means in our lives. At my church we opened the sanctuary for 2 hours so anyone could come, sit while soft music played, and then go up to take communion as a family with the pastor and his wife when they were ready.
Our Pastor said he wanted to do it this way because too often we don’t take the time for quietness: to sit and truly reflect on what God did for us. I was there the entire time to help with audio and video, which means I was in for 2 hours of quietness. Yeah, quiet for the guy who gets paid to talk for a living. You can guess how easy that was. In that time, I learned a few things about being quiet before the Lord.
- Quietness takes work. You would think that sitting still for a while would be easy. We’re all busy, so who wouldn’t love some time of quiet? But after you get past the first minute, and then second, you start to squirm. I found my mind wandering all over the place. I was sure something should fill the empty space. Until I could adjust, it got uncomfortable. Our world has programmed us to fill our lives with noise, and we’ve adjusted. So it’s hard to say quiet. Which is important because…
- God speaks in the quiet. When our lives are full of noise, how do we hear from God? Often, we can’t. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know the I am God.” We complain that God doesn’t speak to us, but we’re constantly listening to something, or watching something, or checking every notification that beeps on our phone. We can’t hear God because we don’t give him the time. If you said the same thing to your spouse and complained they’re just not reaching out to you in your busy schedule…well, I’ll be praying for if you try that. It’s really the same with God.
- Quietness is healing. I don’t have any scientific proof of this, just anecdotal evidence in my life and what I’ve heard from others. We can often pride ourselves in all the busyness in our lives when we’re really burning ourselves out faster than ever. We’re all good until we crash. And God knew we’d do this to ourselves. Even he rested on the seventh day of creation and told the Israelites to do the same. “Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy,” He said (Exodus 20:8).
Speaking of the Sabbath, in Mark 2:27 Jesus is talking to some Pharisees who are angry his disciples picked some grain on the Sabbath (Saturday in the Jewish tradition) claiming they did work which was against God’s law. They were nitpicking. But Jesus replied, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” I think he was pointing out the fact that the point of that day wasn’t to just sit around and do nothing. It was to give mankind a time to rest, reflect, and find God in the quiet. Because He knows that what we need.