Quiet

In the Secret, Sonicflood

“In returning and rest shall you be saved;

in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” 

Isaiah 30:15

It is a personal victory when I can simply remain silent when what I really want to do is talk, complain, or rant. In my personal culture, my inner resolve is tested and tried and refined when I hold my tongue and just listen. In our mainstream culture, where we are surrounded by hectic highways, the hum of appliances, or withdrawal into headphones, listening just sounds more appealing when we are able to pull away into nature. To force our body into stillness in the midst of the rush of our culture and all manner of engagements slows the hyperactive mental activities, in order that we can even begin to hear. 

But silence heals. An article written in 2019, toting the protracted title “Science Says Silence is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think,” emphasizes the need to embrace the beauty that silence offers. Author Rebecca Beris references a study performed in 2013 wherein mice were exposed to two hours of silence each day. Given this controlled environment, the discovery was that new cells were developed in the hippocampus, which regulates motivation, emotion, learning, and memory. In silence, not only were cells regenerated, but they regenerated into functioning neurons.

Conversely, noise elevates the levels of stress hormones

(https://www.lifehack.org/377243/science-says-silence-much-more-important-our-brains-than-thought).

Because we’ve been conditioned to live at break-neck speed, silence can sound scary to the postmodern mind. But Scripture testifies to the strength that lies in the discipline of quieting our souls. As we come to Abba Father, we can petition Him with Psalm 131:2, “I have calmed and quieted myself; I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child, I am content.” Put into context, this verse should encourage us. Silence simply takes getting used to. I don’t recollect any of my children wanting to be weaned. They were not content with my choice for them to be weaned. There may even have been a tantrum to the weaning process being thrust upon them sooner than they would have liked. But they eventually calmed down, quieted themselves, and were content. The new season allowed them to be nourished by something other than mama’s milk, and that is the natural order of things. 

How many of us are still wanting to throw a tantrum because we aren’t ready to let go of a season? Or perhaps circumstances in our lives have left us with grief so deep, we can’t find a way to grow out of it? God is bigger than the noise in our lives, and He is present in stillness. Andrew Murray exhorts us to “Take time not only to secure stillness from man and the world, but from self and its energy.” The poet Jeremiah, who was well familiar with grief and tragedy, provides the antidote for stressors in the midst of mourning and hopelessness:  It is good that a man should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (Lamentations 3:26).

Quiet, my soul. Be still. For “The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters (or the noise of my tantrums), Than the mighty waves of the sea,” Psalm 93:4. 

“Rest and quiet growth are what you want.”

James Hinton

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