Friday, January 8, 2016

My Soul Waits in Silence

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assail a person,
will you batter your victim, all of you,
as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?

Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Those of low estate are but a breath,
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.

Put no confidence in extortion,
and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God, and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all according to their work.
Psalm 62

Reflection – This week’s edition of the Weekly Psalter delivers up to us this lovely little psalm of serene confidence in God amidst the storms of life. The past section of the psalter has been quite full of not-quite-so-serene reflections on these storms—lots of loud cries of anguish, calls for vengeance, general rending of garments and so forth.

Now, we are in a different place. Now, we wait upon God in silence and peace. Now, God is already working some kind of deliverance, some kind of mighty work of grace, for now the psalmist himself is brought to a place of stillness and of faith.

And of course in this place of faith, our whole perspective changes on who are the powerful and successful, who the lowly and weak. We begin to see that the world’s views on these matters are not particularly enlightening, not especially wise or insightful.

It seems to me that this psalm has a lot to teach us about why it is so important to carve out some space for silence in our lives, if it is at all possible. The mother or father in the midst of raising a lot of children is probably not going to find too much of that, but we’re not all in that mode, are we? And yet it is such a cultural norm to constantly surround ourselves with noise and activity and fuss and bother.

I think the lack of silence in our world today is one of the great schemes of the Enemy to deprive men and women of the knowledge of God. Without silence it is very hard to come to that place of refuge, that rock. It is hard to recognize the very silly lies and foolishness of worldly ‘wisdom’, hard to see through the posturings and vain boasts of the powerful of this world.

The truth is, they are so much less than they make themselves out to be. God is so much more than we realize Him to be. There is so much more goodness than evil, so much more light than darkness, so much more love than hate in the universe that if we step aside from the constant stream of information and mis-information, verbal and visual stimuli that bombard us, it really doesn’t take all that long to realize it.

So I do encourage all of us to look for, find, and make that space for silence in our lives. To turn off our devices and turn to the Lord in contemplation and prayer. To look for Him, and looking for Him, look a bit less to the values, standards, measures of worldly wealth and power. They really don’t matter; truly, they don’t. He matters, and the true measure of life, which is the measure of our charity, our love, matters. And that’s all that matters.

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