Friday, September 12, 2014

Be Quiet and Speak

Dawn was breaking and I could see the daylight streaming through the bedroom window.  It was a little after five in the morning. 

Thank the Lord Hubby was sleeping and breathing normally.  I was glad to have strung together a few hours of sleep myself.

Sitting up in bed I noticed how quiet it was.  Since it was a cooler night we shut off the air conditioner and only needed the fans.  I love nights like that don't you?

Stretching my arms toward the ceiling I began my daily chat with the Lord.  I closed my eyes and just listened as I drank in the tranquility. 

Off in the distance I could hear the sounding whistle of the train growing faint as it rolled out of town.  The only sound now was the quiet whisper of a fan motor.  It was divine!

Then the silence broke and the conversations of the day before were louder in my head than the roaring locomotive that just past the area.

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Be Quiet and Listen

Quietness may not be all that it’s cracked up to be when the Holy Spirit gets hold of the silence.  It’s during the stillness and quiet times when He can speak to us and get our attention. 

Although I welcome the interaction of God in my life, sometimes I don’t always feel like a lesson … you know what I mean?  Nonetheless, I got one and received it in my heart.

Those who are following this journey with me know what’s been happening in my daily schedule since Hubby’s heart attack.  One thing that I have really learned in life, is that in order for me to be a help to those around me I have to be a good listener.

Learning to listen quietly isn’t always easy for a teacher, preacher or speaker.  We tend to interject and take over the conversation without realizing it, and certainly not on purpose.  Being quiet and listening are skills that have to be learned continually by all of us; age has nothing to do with that.

I noticed that when it came to listening to all the instructions from the doctors, staff and anyone else concerning my husband’s new lifestyle, I was attentive and eager to keep quiet.  However, when I was with friends my attention was easily diverted and maybe not as considerate.  That’s what the Holy Spirit was leading me towards in my scripture readings…
learning to be still is not necessarily being quiet.

Talking Doll
We have learned through the first part of our journey, the inward part, how to be still and let God work in our lives.  Our parents would quietly lean over in church and whisper “be still” hoping to get us to sit without moving. 
Sitting still and watching God move on a situation isn’t necessarily being quiet.  I can sit in one place and be as still as the chair, but while doing that I can be a “chatty Cathy” (like the talking doll) not hearing a thing anyone else is saying. 

Being Still Isn’t Being Quiet

After some morning doctor appointments we had the opportunity to visit with a few friends.  They were an older couple who had just come from the same heart doctor as Hubby’s.  Larry had a pace maker put in a few months ago, and Joy had a heart attack in August around the same time as my husband.

Be Quiet, Talk Less & Listen More
We were comparing notes on the care received and all reports were glowing about the staff. 
The men and women carried separate conversations even though we were sitting next to one another. 
Honestly, I have no idea what my husband said to Larry, because my attention was on my interaction with my lady friend.

There was something that started to ring true about this “not being quiet thing”, and it began when Joy’s phone rang. As we were dialoging her cell phone must have rang at least a dozen times, in which she took almost all the calls.

With each call we paused in the middle of sentences so she could check the message.  I understand that we all have calls that we sometimes must take, and that wasn’t the issue. 
Finally, Joy noticed that our time was being stolen; she was the one who put the phone in her purse.  With phone out of sight she looked at me and grabbed my hand gently. In a sweet soft voice Joy said, “Finish your story.”  That was the turning point in our visit.

Although we were not moving about, there was nothing quiet in our stillness until our focus was on one another.

God’s Peace in Quietness

My conversation with my friend helped me to understand that the peace of God can be found in times of struggle, frustration and heartache.  We just need to know where it is.

Would you mind being quiet a minute?
Learning to be quiet when others speak is often a gift from the Lord, to help you when you don’t know what to do.
Even though we have known these people most of our lives, God was giving us direction for things we didn’t know.  They had been down the road we are now traveling, several times and it was their time to speak.

The things we learned from being quiet that day and listening actually came in handy the next day. They had directed us to people we didn’t know and to the people who showed my husband favor for his treatment. 
Our peace came from being open to others experiences and being willing to act on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

That night the Lord led me to this passage as validation of what I had learned.

“Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remains in the fruitful field.  The work of the righteous will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation. In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places, though hail comes down on the forest, and the city is brought low in humiliation.” (Isaiah 32:16-19 NKJV)

The Sower: Righteous Work = Peace
The Reaper: Righteous Effect = Quietness and Assurance

The work of my friend was peace to our souls because she knew what we should ask, who we should see and what to expect.  The effect of my Christian friend on us was quietness, not just physically, but emotionally. 

Listen to the Story

We were able to experience peace because there was a time of listening for direction through our friends stories.
This direction was by God, but through my friends.  How do I know that it was from the Lord?  Their words helped meet our need.

Receiving spiritual counsel and acting on wisdom is key for living in the favor of God. 
Until we learn to be quiet and listen, there can be no peace for the soul, and our outward journey will be exhausting.

That day I was able to see her outward journey in the way she took hold of the situation and redirected it.  Remember all outward journey actions are being witnessed and are measurable.  You could clearly see how she was listening to the Holy Spirit’s direction when she responded to hearing our story.

This Week’s Challenge:
Be Quiet and Listen

What’s their story? We’re so geared to sharing our story that we often forget who we shared it with and end up repeating it to the same people.  Boring!  Not only is it redundant, you can’t advance in your journey by focusing on self.

No doubt you will share something with someone this week.  Instead of spilling all the details of the daily activities, try redirecting the conversation back on the other person.  Be quiet and actually listen to what they are saying.  

Understand that their work (in your life through godly words) is favor from God.  It will bring you into enjoying peace or quietness in spirit, soul and body.  It’s our sowing that is the object of the favor of God being shown on His children.

In the words of the prophet Samuel, let me boldly declare:

“Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the LORD said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak on.” (1 Samuel 15:16 NKJV)

Lily from Princess Diaries
The entire world around you may be at unrest, but you don’t have to be.  Learn to be quiet, and let others talk. Be a cheerful listener. 
Some may say it like this: Shut up and listen.  The nice way in relaying the same message is:
Be quiet and let other’s speak.  Which ever one works for you, do it.  Your peace is at stake.

I Will Listen by Twila Paris
Until next time, there is favor in being quiet.

“Be quiet, and I will tell you.”
– Jesus Christ

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