I admit I am country at heart. Always have and always will. Growing up on an island has tremendous advantages. Neighbors were cooperative and hospitable, but it was the more rural areas where I first came to appreciate the magnificence of God’s craftsmanship and the simplicity of things such as silence. Some of my fondest memories are the summers I spent in the country with relatives. It was during those times I would lay in bed at nights and not only listened to the silence, but also wondered about the God I learned about in Sunday school, and who knew we needed silence to hear His voice. Scriptures tells us that God reveals Himself through nature, and King David affirms, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word.” Psalm 19:1-3 (NLT).
So much of life is about acquisition. We collect things and even people, and we dispose of them when they no longer bring us pleasure or serve our purpose and agenda. As humans, we were made for relationships, but prone to pride and self-interest. We love to be loved or we conquer and isolate to control. But sometimes the things we value least or fail to appreciate are the very things that should amaze us, such as a brilliant sunset, peace, contentment, laughter, family, the company of good friends, good health, a personal space that reflects who we are, and the freedom to worship the one true and living God. But we are so busy collecting and conquering that even while we are searching for Him, we miss His power, and loving care displayed through nature. So creation dictates that there is more to life than acquiring and there are also benefits to letting go of people, places and things.
Nothing offers me a fresh view of life like communion with nature. In that setting I feel a compelling freedom to tell God exactly how I feel about things, knowing He will not judge or forsake me because He knows my heart. Talking with Him during those times and understanding that seeds must first die to produce fruits or beauty never fails to renew my injured soul and give me hope for tomorrow. It is also in the presence of God’s creation that I have come to understand that living a life that constantly feeds my spirit need not take much.
Our culture seems to dictate that we keep moving and doing, and worrying about things we have no control over. But only when we embrace silence we begin to make room to hear God’s voice as he whispers in our heart, “Be still, and know that I am God! (Psalm 46:10) because regardless of all the uncertainty in the world, God’s victory is certain, and all will stand in silence before Him one day. It is when we connect with nature we come to understand order, balance and the immeasurable power of the wise Creator. We know then, that God doesn’t only speak to us through preachers, prophets, signs and wonders, and if we look for Him only in answered prayers, we miss all the avenues in which He expresses himself and what the universe is trying to tells us by declaring his glory.
So if you need to hear God’s voice in your circumstance, step back from the noise and listen. Find a quiet space that offers intimacy to be with Him. Create a special nook in your home or backyard that beckons you to come, sit and dine with Him. Step outside on a starry night and think about all the people in the world displaced without a home or a country and give thanks for the comfort of silence. I like Sidney Lovett’s advice: “Accept life daily not as a cup of tea to be drained but as a chalice to be filled with whatsoever things are honest, pure, lovely, and of good report.”
The prophet Habakkuk reminds us that God speaks through His Word as well as His silence. Tarry a while with Him. Listen…. can you hear Him?