(Photo by Selma Komisky)
The Power of Stillness
By Michelle Ochen
The world around us has changed in this time, everything has seemed to slow down as things have closed up. It can be a bit alarming to many of us because it is not what we are used to. Life has become so full of activities, constant entertainment, and noise that we are not necessarily comfortable when it gets less busy and plans get cancelled. In one way or another, we have all come into a new place of having more time and finding ourselves surrounded by less people.
However, time and solitude are not new ideas. In fact, some of the most meaningful moments of life have happened for individuals in such situations. It seems that when the noises get quieter, things that are normally drowned out get stronger. One of those things is the voice of God, for He speaks not in loud tones or through a megaphone, but in a still small voice. He speaks in a tone that requires the listener to silence the distractions and outside sounds and listen keenly.
I want to take you on a short journey through Scripture and point out some magnificent moments that took place in times that followers of God were found alone and the sounds of everyday life had been quieted. Abraham had to walk away from the noises of his tent and his family into the dark night to be alone with the stars, where he was given a promise from God that his decedents would be as numerous as the night sky. Isaac was found alone in the fields when his wife, Rebekah was introduced to him, of whom would come two nations. Joseph spent years in prison isolated from all he knew and loved, but in those years the Lord was preparing his heart to rule. Hannah found herself alone before the Lord in the temple in deep prayer for a child, and the Lord heard her prayer. Samuel was awakened from his sleep where he heard the voice of the Lord in the night and was given a word from the Lord regarding things to come. Moses was alone in the wilderness herding sheep when he was led to the burning bush and given a call to be a part of God’s deliverance of the children of Israel. Ruth had to leave behind her homeland and go out alone in search of work to provide for herself and Naomi when God led her to the fields belonging to Boaz. Elijah found himself alone when the Lord spoke to him in a still small voice and told him that he was not alone, and from such strength, he was able to be used of the Lord to put to shame the prophets of Baal. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was alone when she received a visit from the angel Gabrielle, telling her of her role in the coming of the Messiah. Paul, after converting, did not immediately go into ministry, but spent years away in Arabia before returning to the nation of Israel. Peter was on the rooftop alone when he was given the vision of salvation for the gentiles. On and on the list could go of the many who were given great insight into spiritual things in times of being alone. Visions, promises, answered prayers, and callings were given in moments of quietness and solitude.
Do these examples perhaps change the way you might view this time? Maybe, just maybe, the Lord has allowed the world to quiet down for a time that we might get ourselves alone with Him and listen for His voice. He is not done using men and women to do powerful things for His kingdom; they just have to avail themselves to harken to hearing His voice. What will you do with this extra time? Perhaps a walk out somewhere alone might lead to an unforgettable moment in your life.