Isaiah 30:15b: In quietness and trust is your strength. (NIV)
Those who know me well know I am not a fan of quiet. I don’t like being by myself, and if I ever find myself in a situation where I have to be, you will hear music, background television, or simply my voice singing, so there is no silence. I have often wondered what it is I don’t like about silence, and I have never really come up with anything. I wonder if this is true for you too.
Although I don’t like the quiet, I understand its importance. In verses, like Isaiah 30, we are reminded again that it is in quietness and trust, not hard work and noise, that we find our strength. While this was obviously an important point when it was first written I think it is especially important today! We live in a world where we can easily keep the noise and “busyness” going all the time. We have more television channels than we can imagine, and streaming services that allow us to almost watch anything at any time. We have social media, where people are constantly uploading new content for us to watch. While all of this is promoted as “convenience” we can see examples of its damage all around us.
The inability to stop, be still and quiet and trust in God’s plan, purpose, and provision is damaging to us and our relationship with God. A lie the enemy tells us is that noise, “busyness” and work will keep us afloat, bring us purpose and fulfillment. If we just put in a little more effort, if we just read our Bibles a little more, pray a little harder, tell more people about Jesus, then we will be living out our purpose. Now, don’t get me wrong, these things are not bad, in fact they are important to our relationship with God but, as the verse reminds us, they do not strengthen us. God does that, when we stop striving, stop making noise and making people notice us and, instead, are still and quiet and trust.
In these times of lockdowns and isolation, many of us struggle with limited movement and limited connection. The impact of this shouldn’t be underestimated, however, let’s take these opportunities to stop, be still and quiet and turn to God with trusting hearts that long for his strength.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you set the example of quietness and trust. As you prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, not for your own will but your Father’s, help me to be quiet and trust in your strength in these difficult and troubling times. Thank you for your promise that you never leave me alone. Help me to share this truth with those I know who are feeling weak and overwhelmed with the noise and “busyness” of their lives. In your name I pray. Amen.