Hush …

October 14, 2009 | 30 comments

“Be still and know that I am God.”
— Psalm 46:10


The only way I know to be still
is to be still.

So I hush my way into stillness. Yet it’s hard to find my way there.

Because the noise — this noise — it starts before bare toes touch bedroom floor. This is the soundtrack of my day:

alarm clock singing
neighbor ringing
washer humming
footsteps drumming
keyboard clicking
motor, kicking
front door, knocking
newscast, shocking
music, playing
politician, braying
static, hissing
Stillness?
MISSING.

“Are you there, God?” I ask as zippers and lost dimes rap a percussive beat in my dryer.

“Are you there, God?” I ask as the phone rings again, and the dishwasher hums, and the newscaster heeds his warnings: “The U.S. may see a shortage in the flu vaccine.” … “Rampant government corruption may derail the fight against the Taliban.” …

So I crank up praise-music louder,
listening for Him in the song.

Then I dial a friend’s number to ask what she thinks,
and I listen for Him in her voice.

And I mouse-click, click, click
through this email,
and that devotional,
and her blog
because I’m seeking Him in their words.

And do I find Him in the song, with the friend, or on the Christ follower’s blog? Many times, yes. I even find him in the everyday music of laundry baskets, breakfast dishes and swishing brooms.

But sometimes?

Sometimes I am Elijah — listening for Him in the noise, when the Lord speaks in the silence.

The LORD said to Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” — 1 Kings 19:11

Elijah listened: Are you there, God?

Elijah watched as a powerful wind tore mountains apart. But God was not in the wind.

He watched as an earthquake shook below. But God was not in the earthquake.

He saw a fire blaze all around, flames licking and crackling and consuming. But God was not in the fire.

Then came this: A gentle whisper.

Yahweh comes in whispers. I need to hush the rush so I may hear his powerfully quiet voice.

To find the stillness, I need to unplug.

To be still,
I must still.

I roll my chair away from the computer and walk through rooms to darken them. I silence the newscaster, mute the washroom, quiet the sinks. I even pause the worship music.

One sound remains in a quiet house: shuffling feet toward an old chair in the corner. I light the candle; wick sizzles.

I lean back into creaky chair and enter The Hush. Weary body wraps itself in a purple prayer shawl — this handmade gift from a friend.

I close my eyes, and listen. This is the only way I know how.

And after the wind and earthquakes and fires of days, I find Him in the whisper. His Spirit breathes words into my spirit. He says: “You can finally hear me.”

And I answer: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening…






Photo: A gift, this little cross with a reminder of a big GOD. (Thank you, Tracy.) It sits atop Grandma Taylor’s hymnal in my prayer corner, where I start and end my day in The Hush, wrapped in handmade prayer shawl. (Thank you, Michelle.)

holy experience

Each Wednesday, I join Ann Voskamp at “Walk With Him Wednesday.” Together, we explore spiritual practices that draw us closer to God’s heart. This week, we consider how we can slow, how we can “be still.” Would you consider sharing your thoughts on how you still?

God’s timing makes me smile. Two days ago, I posted about the need to be still on this Iowa farm. And three nights ago, Lydia picked Psalm 46:10 as her memory verse for the week: “Be Still and know that I am God.”

Persistent, isn’t He?

***

RELATED POSTS:

Drift Me by L.L. at Seedlings in Stone
From the Rush to a Hush by Ann Kroeker

by | October 14, 2009 | 30 comments

30 Comments

  1. Jon P

    I kid you not, just an hour before I read this blog Anne sent me an email asking, "Who sings the song Be Still?". What? You Kidding? Is that odd or is that God? I go with the latter of the two. He's here and he is speaking.
    As I have mentioned to you I have a hard time, as well, slowing down and being still. It is something I am constantly working on and like stated above, have been rapped on top of the head with it quite often lately. I love the verse and it usually comes at the perfect time. I will be Still today!!

    Reply
  2. Rosario

    You are right we need to find God in the silence.

    Reply
  3. Deborah Ann

    Wow, I just wrote a devotional on this very subject, but I like this one much better!

    Reply
  4. Bina

    Tears flow as my own heart aches for the gentle whisper that floods the chaos…

    Is it too forward to say that my heart loves yours? 🙂

    Thank you…
    Bina

    Reply
  5. Lyla Lindquist

    You have quieted me, and my noisy heart.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  6. Shirley

    Beautiful! Beautiful! Timely…so timely! I got side-tracked this morning, but I turned my focus back…listening for the small, still voice!

    Reply
  7. Prairie Chick

    My "word" for this year is PEACE. I am delighting in learning to be still and know that He is God, in practicing His presence. In being an Elijah. (((Jennifer)))

    Reply
  8. chevonee

    This is so AWESOME!! Man, talk about a word in due season! Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing your gift with us…I look forward to following you and learning more! Remain blessed

    Reply
  9. RCUBEs

    And I find Him here…with a quiet scanning of the words He spoke through your heart…

    Thank you for reminding us to be "still" and bask in His presence…God bless you sister!

    Reply
  10. notsofastbook

    It almost seems wrong to break the beautiful silence with a comment.

    We must fight against all the noise of the world to be still, as you so beautifully and poetically illustrated.

    Nothing supports silence. Nothing supports stillness. The rest of the world is in motion and full off noise, clamor, confusion.

    Thank you for taking us into your prayerful stillness. We are happy to be there with you for a few moments.

    You might, by the way, enjoy viewing the documentary "Into Great Stillness," about a monastery in France. The viewer gets a taste of life in their contemplative, quiet, prayerful world.

    Reply
  11. Epiphany

    Thank you.

    This reminds me of when my son was a little smaller and I'd take him to our bed and lay down with him to settle him to sleep in the silence. It bothered me a bit, as I was thinking that there was so much other stuff I could be doing.

    What I began doing was chatting to God in that time. I was bored. So I thought that was a good idea.

    One day, whilst talking to God, He told me that the reason I have a child that needs cuddling to settle and sleep (even at 2.5 now) is to slow me down and to be quiet with Him!

    It sort of made me laugh. I thought of Psalm 23 and re-worded it a bit for myself – "He FORCES me to lay down in quiet pastures" LOL!!

    Sometimes we just have no idea of the way God is working.

    He's pretty smart. 😉

    Reply
  12. Evette

    I sat in my office, no more than a couple of hours ago, praying asking him to hear that still small voice. Asking that this sheep may know his voice when he speaks, even the slightest whisper!

    Reply
  13. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    I am so right there with you sister! I love to "be still" and listen to Him speak.

    Love to you!

    Reply
  14. mom2six

    Hush the rush, what a great truth. To still the heart and listen. Thanks for sharing, your words always encourage me.

    Reply
  15. Jennifer

    I love this post! I can relate. I often think of this verse, I love it, and know I need to quiet the noise!

    Reply
  16. Jacquelyn

    what a beautiful and timely post. I'm humbled. Thank you. I'm glad I stumbled into your blog. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  17. elaine @ peace for the journey

    And the snow… what about the snow? Awaiting some word over here.

    On being still, like you, it's hard to find it around my house. I hunger for it, so much so, that when it arrives I often have to pinch myself. I think this is why I head outdoors for a run very often. I find God's presence as real to me there as anywhere. I've found him this week in my times of intentional prayer.

    And the snow? Is it still there?

    peace~elaine

    Reply
  18. Debbie

    I am really loving visiting new blogs on this Wednesday meme. Another farmer's wife; love it. I'm a city gal but I often dream of the country. Go figure!

    I loved reading your post today. We often have so much noise and interuptions but we need to relish in the silence and listen.

    So good to meet you today and thank you for your comment on Heart Choices.

    Blessings,
    Debbie

    Reply
  19. Runner Mom

    Jennifer, this is one of my favorite posts from you! I really needed to hear this today, chickadee! Thank you…looking for my quiet place.

    Love you!
    Susan

    Reply
  20. papa&nanaT

    I love the verse and the Ancient Words, words so perfect for us today. My best part of my Mondays and Thursdays is catching up on the messages God gives all you bloggers that are directed to me!! Thanks for letting Him speak through you. Gonna turn my music off and grab my shawl now.

    Reply
  21. papa&nanaT

    I love the verse and the Ancient Words, words so perfect for us today. My best part of my Mondays and Thursdays is catching up on the messages God gives all you bloggers that are directed to me!! Thanks for letting Him speak through you. Gonna turn my music off and grab my shawl now.

    Reply
  22. lynnrush

    Hush. . . I love it.

    So often I have white noise around me, distracting me. Time to turn it all off and listen.

    A deep breath and just listen.

    Thanks for this reminder.

    Reply
  23. ~*Michelle*~

    Amen! And talk about persistent…..I have come across the message of being still, slowing down, making one-on-one time with God, hmmmmmmmm, about 28 times this week! My brain has been like a pinball machine lately, I know it is way too cluttered and time for a "purge".

    So I thank you…..for I am a little thick headed as well as scatterbrained…..and this 29th message is finally received loud and clear.

    Reply
  24. Pttyann

    Hi Jennifer
    Ahhhhhh yeaaaaa!!! there's nothing like the stillness and his presence and that still small voice to quieten the soul.I think I'll join him there now,have a wonderful day Jennifer.
    Love ya

    Reply
  25. Deb

    I am still.

    And listening.

    For His word. Precious words.

    That give hope when everything looks hopeless.

    That bring in the harvest. Plentiful. Abundant.

    That bring healing to the sick.

    Prayed for your farmer and your friend.

    Sweet dreams.

    Reply
  26. elizabeth

    Beautiful…Thanks.

    Reply
  27. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought

    I needed to read these words. God is practically screaming at me and I keep go, go, going.
    Thank you!
    It's time I act. It's time I listen.
    ~ Wendy

    Reply
  28. Missy

    I really needed to read this. God keeps screaming at me to still the noises and get with just Him.

    And considering the name of my blog, I think He is screaming at me even louder. =)

    Reply
  29. Tea With Tiffany

    Another power house post. Yes, yes, and more yes and a triple amen.

    I love the stillness. He speaks there and I can get up and walk out my faith. His love changes me.

    Thanks, friend.

    Reply
  30. sharilyn

    my Father has been speaking these words to me quite frequently lately… this "be STILL and KNOW that I am God."…calling me to sit quietly in His presence. and, interestingly, this passage in 1 Kings 19 is one of my very very very favorite pieces in the Bible… it pulls at the very strings of my heart… and i seek Him in the gentle whisper…

    Reply

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