Why is it that so many of us find silence hard to deal with?
Ecclesiates 3:1, 7b NKJV
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven… a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Proverbs 17:27-28 NIV
In order to accomplish great works, one must take care to avoid losing the very power which is needed to bring the result into manifestation. Often, a great loss of power is caused by talking about the intention before it has come into being. Words tend to dissipate power. In order to preserve the full power of intention, it is often best to keep silent about one's intention until after the desired result.
It is often said that there is great power in the spoken word, but perhaps there is a far greater power in silence.
Jesus often took periods of prayerful silence to hear from the Father and to ensure that He was not just doing everything He could, but that He was doing only what was most important. For example, before beginning His public ministry, Jesus spent forty days fasting from food, people, and noise in an effort to prepare Himself to fully accomplish what God the Father had given Him to do on the earth.
Moreover, the Bible says in Luke 5:16 that “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places.” Jesus spent considerable time alone in silence to pray, rest, and focus on what priorities He should be devoting His time and energy to. This helps to explain why, in just three short years of ministry, Jesus had a greater impact on history than anyone else who has ever lived.
There was silence before God spoke the world into existence, and silence for forty days before Jesus began His public ministry, which may indicate that silence is what allows us to speak as God intends.
Silence can be rejuvenating, invigorating and even therapeutic. Yet it can also be lonely and intimidating. It can be lonely because we are so used to noise and activity. Any break from that hustle and bustle seems strange or even awkward.
In silence our thoughts bubble up from within instead of being generated by our environment. It can be enlightening just to sit and contemplate our life. In moments of stillness, we get to know ourselves for better or for worse and maybe that is why so many avoid it.
Do you have enough time away from noise and busyness to hear yourself think? Or even more importantly to hear God speaking to you and through you?
Dr. Michael R. Richardson PhD