Feb 4, 2016

The Gift of 5 Minutes of Silence

It was one of those times of misunderstanding when talking only made things worse. Every thought, every word, every action was misconstrued and seemed to bring an even greater chasm to the already widening gap between two old time, best friends.
The only solution was to stop trying to fix it and be silent until the emotions stabilized, and yet, what makes sense to do oftentimes goes undone as one more attempt is tried to fix things…an impossible task, not unlike Evel Knievel trying to jump the Grand Canyon on his “motorcycle”.
And yet we still tried until I left the house in utter frustration as hopelessness flooded every fiber of my very being.
I decided to send a text to a good friend of mine to ask him to pray. I knew that he too had been going through a rough time with his bride and felt that he would pray with compassion.
I got in my truck to drive around as I tried to figure out what to do next. Shortly after I sent the text a reply came, giving me some words of wisdom to regain my perspective which couldn’t see beyond that night.
We exchanged texts back and forth until at one point he asked me if he could call so that we could talk live. I sent back a text suggesting that he call me.
Now, lest you get off track wondering why I was texting and driving, I had pulled off the road each time that I received and sent a text.
He called and asked me a simple question; whether or not I was still driving. I told him that actually I had pulled off the road because I really couldn’t figure out where to go. So he did something for me that my soul longed for; he told me to stop and be silent and said nothing for five minutes as I sat in my truck with a phone to my right ear as cars drove past me.
After five minutes of complete silence, he asked a simple, rhetorical question; “When was the last time you had five minutes of uninterrupted silence?” Tears streamed down my face as I realized that I hadn’t taken time to stop and do nothing. This was exactly what I really needed; the gift of five minutes of silence
Psalm 46:10 shouted out to me deep within my spirit; “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Often times when friends come to us in a time of need, we feel as though we need to fix their problems or come up with a solution to make their pain go away. So, like Job’s friends (see Job chapter 2 in the bible), we subjectively come up with reasons and possibilities as to why they got into their predicament as well as tell the hurting person how to fix their problem.
Job’s friends started off correctly in trying to help Job. The Bible records that they sat down with Job “on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.”
Great job friends of Job! But then after nothing changed, they opened their mouths and blasted their friend Job with information, judgment, and opinions that did more damage than good.
What Job really needed was the gift of silence so that God could speak to Job and into his situation.
That is what my friend did for me; no advice, no counsel, nothing but the gift of silence so that God could speak to me and into my situation. And God did speak, and calmed my heart, and gave me advice, and then I went home.
And all was well again with me and my best friend.

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