The Sound of Silence

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

On the Saturday of Resurrection weekend, I asked the Lord what He wanted to say for that day. He said, “What do you do in the silence?” I was immediately intrigued. I knew His question had much to do with this day in Biblical history, but I could already see how it was just as valuable of a question for today. I felt led to go back to the story after Jesus’ crucifixion in Luke. Joseph of Arimathea had just gone to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus so that he could wrap it and lay it in a tomb. Then we read this in Luke 23:54-56:

54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. 55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

That word “rested” in the original Greek can also be translated as to be silent or to hold one’s peace (Greek Lexicon). After all the violence and anger that had swirled around on the day that Jesus was crucified, imagine the silence that filled the atmosphere on the day after. No one was yelling any more false accusations, some were filled with deep grief because they now realized what they had allowed, a few were probably strutting around because they thought they had won, and the ones who thought they finally had their Savior couldn’t understand why He left. It’s fitting that this day was a Sabbath. I have to believe that was the most observed Sabbath in history.

So what do you think they were doing in the silence? Doubting the things Jesus had done and said? Questioning where they would go from here? Falling into depression over what was lost? Angry with God for abandoning His Son? Guilty because of their participation? Do you think there were many that remembered the words Jesus had spoken and held onto faith that He wasn’t done yet?

Then I have to ask, what do you do in the silence in your own circumstances? I think this question is just as applicable to physical silence, but that feels like a separate blog, so I just want to focus on spiritual silence. When we ask God a question and He gives us a “not yet” or when he puts a dream or a promise on our heart, but we don’t yet see the path to get there, what do we do in that place? Do we try to encourage God to move a little faster? Do we question if we even heard Him correctly? Do we allow disappointment or even bitterness to start to wreak havoc? Or do we do what it says in Philippians 4:6-7:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Final Thoughts…

In our ever-worsening “need-to-know” culture, silence is becoming less and less acceptable. It’s another one of those Biblical opposites that intrigues the few and frustrates the rest. More than anything, it’s a measure of our faith. Can we press on and believe that God is trustworthy and will finish what He has started, or do we murmur and complain because our limited, prideful view doesn’t yet have its fill? Lord, help us to mature in our silence surrender skills. We know our carnal minds can only see and process so much. We don’t want to live out of that limited space anymore. We want to float in the river of your infinite wisdom, love and faithfulness. Forgive us for doubting. Forgive us for being unfaithful. Help us to stop trying to fill the silence. Help us to embrace it and know that you are working regardless of whether we see and hear You or not.