Silence. With today’s pace of life, perhaps you long for it. Maybe you actively seek it.
However, there are times it comes unbidden. Times when we most long to hear something, anything; and are met with silence. Fearing the void we fill this silence with our own noise. Doubt starts in a whisper but quickly escalates to clamouring worry. Stillness is exchanged for frenetic busyness. Thought is abandoned for chatter. Like churning water we stir up mire and dirt. (Isaiah 57:20)
Perhaps we fear silence is abandonment. Maybe it is an indication we have been forgotten; left behind. Do we fear we have been deemed unimportant and unusable and all that waits beyond the silence is more of it?
The time between the Testaments was a time of great silence. One generation after another came and went, and still God did not speak into the silence. Did they remember God had promised that in repentance and rest they would be saved? Did they remind each other that in quietness and trust was their strength? (Isaiah 30:15) When other nations mocked them for becoming the people of the Great Silence, how many kept their hope in God alone, waiting through the silence? (Psalm 62:5)
Though many must have given up hope during centuries of silence, some held tight to the promises. Zechariah and Elizabeth were barren people in a barren time, yet they still walked blamelessly in righteousness before God. (Luke 1:6) Into their quiet the whispered promise that they had been heard. A womb that had been still would be filled with life. This life would be one of preparation; making a way for God in the flesh. Yet, Zechariah would be bound to silence a little longer. The time was not yet right.
One day, when the time was right, the silence was shattered. The God who never left during the silence proclaimed that His Son would be born to break silence forever. Because He knows how we need presence, the birth announcement came with a name. This end to silence would be called Immanuel, which means God with us. (Matthew 1:23)
So if silence echoes around you; wait in the silence before Him. The LORD is still in His holy temple. (Habakkuk 2:20) We cannot imagine what He will birth through the silence.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
From him comes my salvation.