This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV).
Anna called me at work today from the C-BAT she has been at. That was a great thing. I have missed her very much. It is hard when she is gone that that. It would be different if she were at a sleepover with a friend or away at camp or something like that. But being in a C-BAT means that she is hurting and needs more intense therapeutic care than a therapy season or two.
So when she called I was really excited. I had lots of questions for her and things I wanted to tell her. However, the time she was calling was when everyone else was up and around and having fun. It was loud for her and she couldn’t concentrate on what I was saying. She got very frustrated and said that she would call me back later.
As I sit hear thinking about that, it struck me that sometimes we have a similar problem with talking to God. We call. We know He is there. We know He is listening, and know He is talking back to us. But because of all the noise going on around us (literary or figuratively, we can’t concentrate, we can’t quite hear what He is saying. Maybe we wonder if He is even listening at all.
What kinds of things make up that noise? Sometimes it is literally be business we are surrounded with. Other times it may be our anxiety or doubt or pain. Sometimes it is the noise of guilt or shame over things we have done or not done. Sometimes it comes from the frustration of waiting.
Whatever it might be, we need to recognize the static of sin, the noise of anxiety, and the clamor of life when it is impeding our communication with God. Sometimes God removes it Himself. Other times, He wants us to move to quieter places and spaces so that we can hear Him. I have been learning that this is one of the great benefits of building a discipline of solitude. Solitude with God, is not running away from your problems or shirking your responsibilities. Nor is it about shutting people out. It is about intentionally working to getting into a place where things are quiet enough that we can be still and give Him our attention.