Wonderful Silence

Written by Craig Denison

"But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” Habakkuk 2:20

This past week I was at a worship night in Dallas with Bethel Music. As Rachel and I engaged with hundreds of fellow believers in worshipping a good and abundantly present God, I was stuck by the power of silent moments. For what was a few blessed moments throughout a few hours of worship—it seemed like we as the people of God were able to simply bask in his nearness. It seemed like our silence was a declaration. That in our silence something deeper was happening, something beyond the power of words. 

Then after moments of silence it seemed like a re-energizing happened in the hearts of everyone there. It’s like God did something words can’t describe in the hearts of his people, and in response we were able to sing to him with greater fervor, greater passion. 

In Seeds of Contemplation Thomas Merton writes:

“Contemplation is also the response to a call: a call from Him Who has no voice, and yet Who speaks in everything that is, and Who, most of all, speaks in the depths of our own being: for we ourselves are words of His. But we are words that are meant to respond to Him, to answer to Him, to echo Him, and even in some way to contain Him and signify Him. Contemplation is this echo.” 

In response to what the Holy Spirit seems to be teaching me about the wonders and powers of silence, I’ve been thinking back on my week. How often am I truly silent? How often do I fast from words to simply rest in God? How often do I silence my tongue long enough to allow God to do a work that is beyond words? How often do I let God speak into the depth of my being that my words wouldn’t just be an echo, but my very life would be a response to the inner working of the Holy Spirit? 

I vow this week to take some extended time in silence. I vow to sit before my Maker and let him do a work beyond words. I vow to not even try and describe his goodness, but to simply enjoy the fact that he is inexpressibly good. 

Would you join me this week? 

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10