I know I have been neglecting this little spot in the blogosphere. I said in an earlier post that there are several reasons for this, but they all keep coming back to one thing… Silence. God has been teaching me a lot about, in, and through silence lately.
This morning I wish things were silent around here. Mr. Fantastic is out of town, and I am home with 3 sick kids! Lamb has a fever and is miserable, Monkey just seems to have a cold or growing pains or something (headache and general achiness but no other symptoms), and Roo has just gotten over a bug and is all congested. I couldn’t get to sleep until 1 AM. Sometime after that, the cat decided he wanted to play with my toes. I was not amused. Then at 5:30 Lamb came in and asked me to get that same cat out of her bed. She was back in my room at 6:15 to ask for help with blowing her nose (Seriously?). It was obvious she had not gone back to sleep from when the cat woke her up. Then Roo woke up coughing. Then our house alarm went off (I still don’t know why). And that was all by 6:45. I’m a tired mama with lots to do today.
Oh, I’ve been silent from Facebook (in my regular account) for about a month now. (I gave it up for Lent.) I have to admit… it’s getting a little old. BUT it truly does make things simpler to not have one more thing I feel like I need to keep up with.
Being silent can help me to learn. When something is on my mind, when God is trying to get something through my thick skull, and I immediately come here to write about it, it can be easy for me to wipe my hands clean when the post is done. “See, Lord? I obviously learned my lesson. Look what deep insights I wrote about it.” Then I go on my merry way, lesson… regurgitated, but not really learned.
The silence of others is often a blessing in disguise—or at least a lesson. I tend to depend on other people for a lot of things… affirmation, a listening ear, advice, etc. There’s nothing wrong with turning to a friend, but I so easily forget that I have the ultimate Friend who is available any time I need Him. So sometimes He has to remove the obstacles… and sometimes that hurts. But it’s good in the long run.
When I am upset about something, I get silent. It’s something that Mr. Fantastic and I struggled with early on in our marriage. Now I’m seeing that tendency in my life as a whole. When I am overwhelmed by something, I avoid it. When I am overwhelmed by life in general, I shut down. I have so many plates spinning right now, and instead of trying to decide which ones need my attention the most, my tendency is to turn my back on them, plug my ears, and brace myself for the crash. So far it hasn’t come.
And when I do that… and when I get silent with God… sometimes it feels like He’s being silent to me. But I have to remind myself that I’m the one who has cut off the lines of communication. He is there waiting with open arms. But can I tell you something? I’m a little bit scared. In some strange way, being lonely from the Lord can seem easier than drawing near to Him and accepting what growth He might have in store for me. (Note my earlier statement that things can be good in the long run but hurt in the short run. I don’t really want to hurt any more.) So I’ve been a little bit timid with Him lately. But a verse has been bouncing around in my head for the past few days: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (II Corinthians 4:17)
Light and momentary troubles. This is coming from the same man (Paul) who later in the same book recounts that “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?” (II Corinthians 11:23-29) These are his “light and momentary troubles”?!? But you see, he can have this perspective because of what comes next. They are “achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” They aren’t just something to plow through until we get to the other side. They are achieving for us that eternal glory. We need these light and momentary troubles… these trials and hardships… these painful growth experiences. And someday we’ll say, “Wow, I can’t believe I worried so much about that. I mean, it wasn’t fun at the time, but it was so worth it.”
Well, this post has taken a much different turn than I had originally planned… but there you have it. I’m trying to take these lessons in silence and apply them in a healthy way. Stop being silent toward God and start being silent before Him. Spend a little less time worrying about what others think and a little more time walking with my Closest Friend. Take my lessons to heart and apply them before I just spew them out here.
And in the meantime, I’ll try to stop being so silent here in general. I miss this little part of my universe!