Sit in Silence: Wednesday in the Word

sit in silenceAsking my middle son to sit in silence was like asking the sun not to shine. The most horrific discipline we could put on him as parents was to give him time out. Being stuck in his room, away from the action of the family, was too much. Once, after attempting to have the last word in a conversation that should have ended much earlier, he sat on his bed near tears.

“I wish I didn’t have a mouth. It always gets me in trouble.”

It broke me heart as a parent. Yes, he needed to learn how to use it for his benefit and that of others. Controlling it would not come easy. But I reminded him that one day, God was going to use that very thing he wished away to do big things. God gave him that mouth with a purpose. But at that moment, he only wanted one thing, to be able to sit in silence and stay out of trouble.

I can relate. When trials and trouble push against me, I’ve been known to tell God how He needs to deal with whatever is causing the pain. When people do wrong against me, either maliciously or through carelessness or laziness or whatever, my mouth and mind work together to devise all sorts of things I can say to rectify the situation.

However, like my son, giving in to the prodding of my tongue usually results in more trouble for me. If only I lived Psalm 62:5 a little more consistently. God is my defense. He is my refuge in the hard times. The one who is worthy of vengeance, not me. He is the one to give me direction in the storm when I struggle to know which way to go. But how can He do and be those things, when I won’t stop and listen to what He tells me?

When I read Psalm 62, I’m not sure this wasn’t a struggle for David too. The first verse starts off with “My soul waits in silence for God only”. He’s doing it. Waiting in silence for God. Just like he should. Like we should. Then, he slips into talk of those who stand against him. He speaks of those who bless with their mouths but their hearts are cursing him. Raise your hand if you can relate.

After this little sidebar of what he’s dealing with, David’s phrasing changes. Here in verse five he says, “My soul, wait in silence for God only.” He goes on to speak of all the things God is to him in this trial. David tells us how he pours out his heart to God. But he starts off this section by commanding himself to wait in silence for God.

It’s like he’s giving himself a pep talk. “Don’t you do it. Don’t say it. Keep that mean thought to yourself. Don’t pour out your anger on the one standing against you. David, just keep your mouth shut and let God handle it.”

I find it comforting that David, a man after God’s heart, might have had to give himself the same pep talk I give myself at times. Reminding myself that God is in control. He will lead. There is strength and peace for whatever I face. I don’t have to avenge myself when others wrong me. Instead, I can and should choose to wait silently for God to deliver whatever the situation demands.

What do you do to help with the choice to sit in silence,  waiting for God, rather than taking matters into your own hand or speaking things that should not be spoken?

sit in silence

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