He will quiet you with His love… Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)
I spent a lovely afternoon with a former Kindergarten student of mine, now a second grader. We played games in a coffee shop where she enjoyed a chocolate chip cookie, and we both sipped on warm drinks. When we finished our game and our treats, we decided to walk along the Arkansas River.
I enjoyed listening to my young friend chatter with excitement about school and her family, but as the trail wound closer to the river, I struggled to hear her quiet voice over the roar of rushing water. I leaned in and focused on reading her lips but only caught a few words here and there.
If I let it, my mind can sound like the roar of a rushing river, how about you? A long list of things to do, choices to make, plans for the unknown future, and worries drown out God’s gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12b). Rather than strain to hear our Father and only receive a few words of love, grace, wisdom, and instruction, we must quiet our mind.
I’m a journaler, as is my daughter, so it helps us to write out what’s bogging down our thoughts. My mom spends quiet time with the Lord every morning or evening and writes her prayers in a journal.
My pastor does something similar by keeping a “casting list” based on 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV), “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” and a running list of God’s faithfulness. When the list of God’s faithfulness is longer than your list of anxieties, your mind has no other choice than to quiet.
A dear friend of mine sets a goal to fast and pray once a week. When her goal becomes a reality, she fasts from food, phone, computer, and internet. She’ll be the first to admit the lure of food is easier to resist than the lure of technology and (in my opinion) one of our world’s loudest voices… social media!
No matter how we do it, being still before the Lord and allowing Him to quiet us with His love is a choice. It requires we set aside time and remove distractions.
It seems the more technology-driven and fast-paced our world becomes the more urgent the need for quiet time with God becomes, but it’s always been of great importance. Luke 5:16 says, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
If the Son of God understood the necessity, how much more should we?