The Voice In The Stillness

Tuesday, May 23, 2023
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Listen while you read: "O Lord Thou Art My God And King"1 (Lyrics)

1 Kings 19:11b-13 – After the wind an earthquake … and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. … Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (NRSV)

The Bible seems to be written for the culture in which we live rather than one thousands of years ago. It is hard for me to imagine a non-industrial society being so noisy as to overwhelm the senses, but maybe it was. I do know that when noise and clamour and chaos assault me in the here and now, I find that Scripture has a comforting word for me. Take my experience at the pool last summer as an example of being overwhelmed. My grandson was in the provincial swimming finals in a number of events that stretched throughout a long and noisy day. I was simply exhausted as the day wound down, and the moments before leaving seemed endless. I couldn't wait to get home and sit on our seawall and watch the waves lap against the shore and listen to the stillness (yes, even the stillness has a unique sound if you can and will listen for it). There is a voice that often only prophets can discern amidst the noise of the world outside.

What does that voice say to you? I actually heard it this morning and it somehow came with my name attached:

    Kenn, do not look forward in fear to the changes of life; rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms. Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding God who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day. He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. – St. Francis de Sales

Peace returned after that long and exciting day! I really did enjoy watching my grandson, and yes, I made as much noise as anyone else and maybe just a bit more than most as I cheered him on. And yes, he won a number of his events and set personal best times. And yes, the stillness beside the seawall and the personal prayer brought me the equilibrium that I so desperately needed. If I were asked, like God asked Elijah, "What are you doing here?", I would answer that I was listening to the voice in the stillness.

How do we sit still and hear God? Stillness is when we step away from the busyness of life and connect with God. It's when we slow down for a few minutes and listen — truly listen — for God's voice. Stillness is how we stay focused on God's vision for our lives and listen for His direction and guidance.

Today, try the prayer of St. Francis de Sales, and you, too, may be able to hear the voice in the stillness.

Prayer: God, help me to know why I am here in this place, at this time, seeking Your purpose and plan. Amen.

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A wonderful prayer, Kenn.


    Wow, thanks so much for sharing this, just keep going as He leads!


    Thank you Kenn. Your devotional was just what I needed today.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Kenn, for encouraging us to “step away from the busyness of life and connect with God.”


    Thanks for sharing, Kenn! It is indeed difficult to find stillness in our busy lives, great reminder and prayer!


    Thank you, Kenn, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. May we all find God in the stillness. Blessings.


    Thanks Kenn for another of your special devotionals. Very good advice to heed. Blessings and may you too find time for “stillness” day by day.


    Thank you, Kenn,
    That is so helpful. Perhaps you heard that my husband passed away recently. He had such fond memories of his summer mission work on Pictou Island.


    The devotional touched me. I too find a noisy place gets to me as well.
    Admittedly, I don’t be still and know God, but I truly talk constantly to him all day. I will try to listen and give him a chance.
    Blessings to you.


    Good morning Kenn,
    A great message and reminder that we can enjoy the noisy and exciting parts of life and then search for the quiet moments to listen in the stillness to hear God’s word and guidance. When we take that time, we gain that peace of knowing that God is with us each step of our journey of faith. Sometimes we get so caught up in the stuff that is going on around us that we forget to seek out His guidance and so reminders are always welcome and necessary. When life is good, I do get distracted from focusing on what God wants me to be doing. Thanks for sharing.


    I needed your devotional today, Kenn. Thank you.


    Good morning Kenn.
    I love that passage about Elijah sitting in the cave, moping, and wondering what to do, I can picture him clearly.
    Sometimes we need our quiet time, I thinks all of us do.
    Thank you so much for your good words.
    Blessings.

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