Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room: Waiting, Dec 3
He humbles our hearts as we wait (Advent week 1 day 3).
Singing the song “Silent Night” at this time of year can be a deeply moving experience. The very words silent and holy used to describe a singular evening draw us into the sacred drama of God the Son entering human history. There is something about the holiness of the moment that silences us. When we encounter the holy, there are not words that can adequately describe. Silence ends up being the perfect language.
Indeed, silence has been called the first language of God. In 1 Kings 19, it was the “sound of silence” which elicited awe and humility from Elijah’s heart. Silence takes away the pretense that noise often affords our hearts. When things are noisy, we can hide and pretend behind the clamor and the clanging. Our explanations and defenses are laid down in the arena of silence, leaving us in the purity of just being before a good and gracious Savior. It can be scary but it is purifying and full of awe.
A moment of silence on Christmas Eve is beautiful but a regular practice of silence ushers us into a way of living that transcends circumstance and makes us aware of the holy all around. The response to a holy moment is silence, but equally true is that silence can gives us eyes to see the holy.
As we consider learning to wait in order to humble our hearts, silence plays a huge part. In Psalm 65, King David cries out:
“For God alone my soul waits in silence. For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.”
Robert L’Esperance, one of the brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist said:
“Advent is a time to look for ‘desert places’: the place of solitude, the place of true silence in which we can become fully awake to our sin and God’s forgiving grace which alone can heal it.”
Take 5-10 minutes today to be quiet. Sit in silence and just listen. Quietly repeat the words of Psalm 65: “For God alone my soul waits in silence.” Then, wait quietly. As thoughts or distractions rush in, simply pray the words of Psalm 65.
There is nothing magic about “practicing” silence but it does express a deep trust in God that goes deeper than words. It touches the depths of our being because it goes past the surface noise of life.
Finally, once again pray this simple prayer of waiting throughout the day …
Gracious Father, humble my heart as I wait on you. Give me the strength to stop and wait so that you can be the One who saves me. Give me eyes to see my nakedness today but then to trust that You alone can clothe me. Use your Word, the world around me, and the words of others that I might see You alone as my savior all the day long. Amen.