Devotion: Peace in the Silence
April 13, 2021
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. God alone is my rock and salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.”
We are not a culture that values silence. Some of us feel like we need to have the T.V. or radio on most of the time for different reasons: to distract us from worrisome thoughts, to help us with boredom and loneliness, or because silence makes us nervous. These are all understandable reasons. It is hard to find times of absolute silence. With the spring weather, I have been keeping the windows in my bedroom open at night, but last night I closed them in frustration. We live in a neighborhood, not on a main road, but I could hear from the main road the loud vrooms of those who feel like the more noise their car makes the better – I guess they want to be noticed, but I find it to be rude. For those of the younger generation, we are on our cell phones playing games, looking at our Facebook, watching videos, or keeping up with the news in any free time we have. Sitting and waiting in silence, as the Psalmist speaks of, is a thing of the past. We can constantly be entertained in this day and age.
Yet when we are surrounded by noise all the time or looking at our phones, we don’t learn or we forget the value of silence. It is in silence that we become aware of our breath, that we create space for prayer, and that we may find the presence of God. The Psalmist is going through some sort of distress, but finds in silence the experience of God being in the center of his life, providing stability and protection. In finding this center the Psalmist declares with confidence that he shall never be shaken. His world might be shaken up, but his inmost being will not be shaken. Silence is an opportunity to simply be in the presence of God as we are, surrounded by God’s grace which gives us the strength to get through each day with whatever it brings.
If silence bothers you, try it in short doses. Sit quietly for 3 minutes, just notice your breath, and perhaps just repeat a word like peace, hope, or whatever is meaningful to you. Do not expect something to even come out of this time. Just try to be and ask God to open your heart to God’s presence – then don’t worry if you don’t feel it. Try little periods of silence like this every day and if you find it to help center you, add on to the length and frequency of time gradually as suits you.
Prayer: Ever-loving God, may we create space in our lives to find our center in you, so that we too like the Psalmist trust that in your protection we will never be shaken. Amen.
Devotion provided by Rev. Susan Roddey, Director of Spiritual Life at Abernethy Laurels