“Hey mom, guess what?”
“Hey dad, you know what happened at school today?”
“Down, down, down, down…”
“More, please. More juice, please, more…”
Our supper table is filled with chatter. It is generally happy, loud chatter. Sometimes John and I look at each other in disbelief, unable to get a word in as all four of our kids, ranging in ages from eight to one, are vocalizing at the exact same time. We’ve determined that important conversations with each other will not take place at the dinner table. Instead, we focus on meeting the needs of the four, noisy, little, Heths around our table. And our family of Heths are notorious for noise-making. It’s a rare moment when there is actually quiet time around here.
In the social and political climate of our nation in recent times, we hear a lot of chatter: protesting, heated political social media posts, and news. It’s also rare to have quiet in our nation.
Most of us equate quiet with peace. And, while it may seem that the incessant noise of my home cannot be from heaven, it is completely different than the noise we hear around us in the world. Either way, it’s important to find quiet. As we strive to live out holy lives, we can look to Scripture about what it says about being quiet.
First of all, there is something invaluable about being quiet before the Lord. Psalms 46:10 states, “Be still, and know that I am God.” This word “still” means “to be quieted”. No matter how or when, it’s important for our spiritual life (and my personal sanity…no, really) to find some quiet time with God each day. For me, this usually happens at nap-time while the big boys are at school, because by God’s grace, I’ve taught my two littlest Heths to nap at the same time each day. It’s when I do all the important stuff in my day: exercise, make important phone calls, fold laundry, read Scripture and pray, and watch Netflix. For you that may be getting up before everyone else and catching a few uninterrupted moments over coffee before chaos ensues. Or perhaps in the evening, after everyone is in bed and there’s a blissful, sleepy stillness around your house. Perhaps, over your lunch break, in your car, away from the ringing of telephones and constant interruptions. Whenever, where-ever, and however, it’s important to be still and know that He is God. To rest in his presence, quietly listening for his voice to speak or to calm your anxieties and to clear your mind.
Secondly, according to Scripture, we should be making our petitions known to the Lord. Not publicly. Not on Capitol Hill. Not on social media. 2 Timothy 2:1, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”. 2 Timothy goes on to say in verse 8 that, “all men everywhere should pray…without anger or disputing.” I do not accept that believers should be protesting or otherwise disputing in a public manner. We should be making our petitions and disputes known to God, for all people. All authorities. Living peacefully and quietly.
The enemy would love to distract and cause chaos all around us. The book of James warns against “disorder and every evil practice”. Disorder and chaos is not of the Lord. When we get wrapped up in speaking louder to be more right, marching for our cause, spewing our political notions in public, we are falling right into the enemy’s plans to distract us from petitioning before God.
Truth be told, there’s something strangely satisfying about the noise of my funny family, but there’s also great fulfillment in finding moments of quiet throughout the day. And while some may find something gratifying about loudly and often speaking their mind about social and political issues, it is much more effective and peaceful to be quiet and pray.
I hope today that you can find a glimpse of peace and quiet in your life. Be still before the Lord. Stop filling social media with political agendas and social issues, no matter if you’re on the left or right side of things. Pray. Get in the presence of the One True God. Because that’s where real change happens.
Lord, I ask You to forgive me for not being still in Your presence, and for not bringing my issues to You. I pray that we find true peace in You as we quiet ourselves and wait on You. Be in our nation, heal our land. In Your name, Amen.