Are you feeling like everything around you is chaotic and it’s more than you can handle right now? Are you longing for the “Silent Night, Holy Night, all is calm, all is bright” experience and yet you don’t know how to get there? We well understand this dilemma. We’ve been there many times, ourselves. And sometimes it’s a difficult journey to get there.
Mary and Joseph found that out all too well. There was a lot of chaos they had to push through to get to a place where there was any semblance of a quiet night. But when it came, it was amazing! And the world has never been the same since, nor would it be!
Thankfully, we can come to that quiet place too, because of Jesus. He came as a baby; He grew, lived, died for us, and was resurrected. All of this was for us so we can come to the place of living in peace with God. It’s available to us all, just for the taking. Jesus said,
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Those aren’t just “nice” words without truth behind them. If it wasn’t possible for us to find that place of peace, He wouldn’t have said them. But sometimes we must make the effort to get to that place of peace. It takes intentionality.
“So many of us are tired of rushing from one activity to the next, constantly checking our schedules, arriving late and always feeling a bit elsewhere after we arrive. There’s a gnawing sense in our guts that we can’t keep up the pace…and truth be known, we don’t want to. Most people I talk to are tired of being tired all the time. They’re tired of the emptiness that comes from too much busyness and not enough God.
“Thankfully, God offers a better way than running on empty. He invites us to walk instead of run and find rest for our weary souls. That’s what the fullness of life is all about. It’s not the same as being busy all the time (even busy doing good things). The invitation is to sit at the feet of the Person who is the source of all fullness.” (Doug Fields, from his article, “Find Time to Find Jesus in the Middle of Busyness”)
Seeking the Quiet
A friend of ours has the following inspirational statement posted over the door to her patio:
“Make time for quiet moments
because God whispers
and the world is loud.”
And those are the operative words here; “MAKE TIME for quiet moments.” The world IS so loud. That’s why it’s sometimes important to make the effort to find places where we can be quiet so we can quietly breathe in God and His peace. Even if it’s just standing in one place, amidst the all the chaos, closing our eyes, and quietly retreating in our spirit for a few moments. We can miss something important, if we don’t seek the quietness God can provide.
Elijah found this out, all too well. He was looking for God to speak to him and he almost missed it. But we’re told in 1 Kings 19:11-13 that finally the Lord grabbed his attention. It was not in the way he thought it would come, but it came in a very powerful way, none-the-less.
It is written:
“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord; for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’”
Did you get that? Elijah almost missed hearing the voice of the Lord. That’s because it came through a whisper. He didn’t expect that. And usually, we can miss it too, unless we’re attentive. Again, here’s that quote that my friend had posted because it makes an important point:
“Make time for quiet moments because God whispers, and the world is loud.”
Now, we realize that we can’t always keep things quiet around us. It’s just not possible with children, friends, relatives, and others buzzing in and out of our lives. And maybe we don’t want to. We enjoy and thrive on that relational time. But there are times when it’s important to be intentional in setting time aside for quiet moments. That’s because these can be restorative, regrouping times. And once you take that time you have the peace of mind to approach all the busyness with renewed energy. (And many times, you’re kinder, as a result… just saying!)
Scheduling Quiet Moments
Perhaps you need to ask your spouse to help you with the kids so you can get away for a few quiet moments.
Or perhaps you can schedule a babysitter or have a friend or relative(s) watch your kids. This way you AND your spouse can spend some quiet moments together. That’s important too. This can be restorative time for your relationship as well. It might even be that you make can have a “Nap or a Rest Date” together. This is a time when you just sleep and cuddle together without distractions.
Or it could be that you don’t have the time or opportunity to do that. Life “happens” sometimes! Right now, we’re preparing our home for our “kids” and grandkids to stay with us for a few weeks. They now live in Norway, and we haven’t been together in person for over four years. Oh, how we’ve missed those hugs!
So, with all that goes on in our ministry and our married life together, along with prepping our home so we can all live together comfortably, we hardly have a restful moment. It’s all good; but it’s also a very busy time. However, we find little opportunities here and there just to sink into each other’s arms and quietly enjoy the moment. And then we go back to the busyness again. We’ll rest together for longer periods of time in the future. Right now, all we have is pockets of time. And that will do… for now.
Perhaps you can schedule some quiet moments together after the kids go to bed. Or if you don’t have kids (even if you do), turn away from media at whatever time you can. Then turn to each other and decide how you both want to spend some quiet time together.
At different times Steve and I take walks together, read together, and prayer walk together through the neighborhood. Sometimes we put a fire in the fireplace and cuddle. Or we have quiet meals out on our back patio. There, we enjoy the flowers, birds, and fresh air together. Where we live, sometimes we have lizards, and quail that run through the yard. (We especially love the baby quail.) We also have lovebirds, bunnies and such that show up; and it’s a real treat to quietly watch and enjoy! It’s so pleasant!
Other times, we sit in our living room, and look out at the bird bath we put out in our front yard. It’s so funny to see the birds splashing away as they enjoy taking their baths. And because it’s so hot here in the summer, it’s heartwarming to see them sipping away at the water provided for them to drink. Repeatedly we thank God for these sweet opportunities to give His precious creatures refreshment. And as a result, we’re also refreshed in our spirit in these sweet, quiet moments.
Enjoying the Whispers of God
Often, we have to remind ourselves that we weren’t created to be individual human “doings.” We’re created to be human “beings.” We can and should enjoy the whispers of God. But it takes intentionality.
The same goes for married couples. “The world is loud.” But that doesn’t mean that we should continually follow its pattern. There is “a time for everything under heaven.” And that includes being quiet together sometimes so you can hear God whispering to you. This will help to “recharge” your spiritual, emotional, and physical batteries, so to speak.
A while back, we read something applicable to this principle written by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott in The One Year Love Talk Devotional for Couples. They wrote about a time that they were traveling through Europe. They had stopped to sit and enjoy the beautiful cathedral sitting before them. It’s at that time that a man approached them. He asked them if they were recharging their batteries. Eventually in the conversation, they realized that they were sitting next to an outlet where people often stop to recharge their electronic devices.
“Our new friend was checking to see if we were doing the same thing. ‘No,’ said Les; ‘we’re just recharging our physical and spiritual batteries.’
“The man smiled, pressed the tips of his fingers together, and with a slight bow said, ‘As you should. Very good.’
“It is good, very good, for a couple to recharge their spiritual batteries. So many times, we forget that an important part of marital communication is done in silence. It gives our souls time to catch up with each other simply by being present and at peace. Take time to pause in the midst of your daily fray and simply tune in to the present moment together.”
And to take that good advice a step further, here’s a related article to help you in this mission. We encourage you to read and apply what works for you:
• REFRESHING YOUR MARRIAGE SPIRITUALLY
Please don’t forget the important words of Jesus, despite all the busyness going on around you. MAKE time to spend quiet time together with Him:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
We pray you will; and we will too.
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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