Learning spiritual lessons from silence in kitchen

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

Tired of all the electronic noise, I turned off the television and radio on a recent Saturday while doing some house-cleaning. I also logged off the computer – no Facebooking, emailing or researching genealogy. The house was quiet.

As I finished cleaning around the kitchen sink and turned off the faucet, I heard a tick-tock type sound. The digital clocks on the stove and microwave were silent.  I listened closely and opened the cabinet doors under the sink to find a slow, steady drip coming from the water supply cut-off valve.

I wondered how long had it been leaking.  Hopefully not too long, there was no puddle. But I felt the wet wood directly under the valve.  One thing’s for sure, the leak could have continued to go unnoticed if not for the silence in the house.

The experience reminded me of how the busy pace of my life lately had drowned out my quiet time with the Lord and His Word. It’s too easy to let the noise constantly bombarding us day and night distract from hearing the God’s voice speaking to our souls.  Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

“How can you expect God to speak in that gentle and inward voice which melts the soul, when you are making so much noise…Be silent, and God will speak again,” Francois Fenelon once observed.

“My personal experience of the relentless tenderness of God came not from exegetes, theologians, and spiritual writers, but from sitting still in the presence of the living Word and beseeching Him to help me understand with my head and heart His written Word,” writes Brennan Manning in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel.’

Remember the experience of Elijah as he stood on the mountain before the Lord?  “The Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NKJ). That still small voice of the Lord spoke to Elijah, calling him by name.

New York Times bestselling author Ann Voskamp writes in her blog, “So like a modern-day Moses, leaving the din of the masses to sit alone in the winds of a mountaintop, we make regular times and places to hush all the inner and outer clamor and simply, bravely, wait for God’s voice.”

Charles Swindoll has said, “I cannot be the man I should be without times of quietness.  Stillness is an essential part of growing deeper.”

Isaiah 30:15 reads, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” The Gospels tell us of times that Jesus went away to be alone with God (for example, Luke 6). Sometimes the joy leaks out of my soul.  That’s when I need silence and solitude to hear God’s voice that repairs my broken spirit and restores my soul.
Jan White is an award-winning religion columnist.  Her email address is jwhite@andycable.com.