Shouting in a loud voice and covering their ears, they rushed together at him and dragging him out of the city they stoned him.
We were up on Still Peak above our house when my brother-in-law hushed us and said, “Do you hear that?”
We are stopped jabbering and listened.
“I don’t hear anything.”
“Exactly,” said Sean, “you can’t hear a single thing.”
He was right. No cars or machinery. No dogs. No wind.
Silence is odd to us because we seldom experience it. We live in a noisy world. All the same, we rarely make much of an effort to get away from the racket.
Do you find it a struggle to take time for quiet reflection? Why is that? Yeah, you’re really busy. But do you think there might be a deeper reason?
I ask because I’ve discovered you can drown out the voice of God by noise. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit speaks in a still, small voice. And our conscience is an avid talker, but only speaks in a whisper. TVs and radios can easily overpower that voice we need to hear.
When Stephen was arraigned before the Jewish high court on charges of blasphemy, he gave a lengthy recitation of God’s coming to their forefathers, and their rejection of the Lord’s graciousness to them.
Things got tense when Stephen came to his point: “You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears!” He told them, in other words, that they were not listening to God, but were resisting the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, in fact, was speaking to the high council at that very moment – through the words of Stephen. And how did they respond? They drowned out his voice by shouting him down and covering their ears.
My friend, Ruth, was riding with a woman who chauffeured a van load of kids. Ruth noticed the transmission was making a funny noise. She asked, “You think you ought to get that fixed?”
The woman grinned at Ruth and said, “This is how I fix it,” and immediately turned on the radio until you could no longer hear the noise from the transmission.
Are you taking time for quiet? When we are silent before the Lord, we may realize that some things need to be fixed. But that’s a good thing. Whether we need to make changes, or find forgiveness, or comfort, or inspiration, God will speak a good word to us when we are quiet enough to listen.
(copyright 2012 by Marty Kaarre)