Wait in Silence

A particular line begins Psalm 62 and is repeated later in the psalm with very minimal changes, so it is worth giving our attention to that line: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2).

Learning to wait on God in silence does not come naturally to us.  Perhaps that is why the psalmist felt the need to repeat the challenge to us. 

Warren Wiersbe remarks, “The ability to calm your soul and wait before God is one of the most difficult things in the Christian life.  Our old nature is restless…the world around us is frantically in a hurry.  But a restless heart usually leads to a reckless life.”  Because God does not want our lives to be reckless, God calls us to learn to be silent before him.

In an article entitled “All the Right Moves,” chess master and mentor Bruce Pandolfini speaks of the importance of silence: “My lessons consist of a lot of silence.  I listen to other teachers, and they’re always talking…. I let my students think.  If I do ask a question [‘Why are you making that move?’] and I don’t get the right answer, I’ll rephrase the question—and wait.  I never give the answer.  Most of us really don’t appreciate the power of silence.  Some of the most effective communication—between student and teacher, between master players—takes place during silent periods.”  Perhaps this explains why God is often silent with us: God is waiting for us to learn.  Perhaps this also reinforces why we should practice silence.

Indeed, C.S. Lewis offers suggestions of what we should do if we want to miss being aware of God’s presence in our lives: “Avoid silence; avoid solitude; avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track.  Concentrate on money, sex, status, health and (above all) on your own grievances.  Keep the radio on.  Live in a crowd.”  A lack of silence effectively keeps us away from noticing God.  Silence is essential if we want to be aware of God

“For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”

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