Peace from the Silence

Be still, and know that I am God.

— Psalms 46:10

According to N.J. Enfield, a professor of linguistics at the University of Sydney, we have a limited tolerance for silence in our one-on-one conversations. If a conversation partner does not respond to us in one second or less, we assume they’re not going to. Their silence makes us so uncomfortable we’d rather fill the dead air with the sound of our own voice than wait for the other person to respond.

No wonder prayer is so difficult. Talking with God who doesn’t answer in our timetable makes us anxious. Rather than endure the silence, we’re tempted to fill the void with our own voices and our own opinions of how things should go.

Scholars believe David may have written the prayer in Psalm 46 during a time of war. David desperately needed to hear God’s game plan. When his prayers were met with silence, he filled the void. But instead of putting words in God’s mouth, David wisely took the time to recount all that God had done in the past. David slowed down long enough to remember God’s faithfulness. And in a moment of stillness, God’s message was clear: I can be trusted.

God doesn’t remain silent to torture us. He’s simply waiting for us to take a break from our need to control the conversation.

Today’s One Thing

Do you need to hear from God? Take a page from David’s playbook. Spend some time today recounting all that God has done for you. Let God’s faithfulness fill the silence with peace.

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