It is so quiet here that the one room cabin sounds no different with the doors and windows open or closed.
The only thing you can see out any window is canopies and canopies of green, and the silence meets me well.
We can't help but talk of the girls frequently and marvel at how we see Him through them, wonder at what they're doing...but for a few days, we know they are well with dear family friends and friends family, and it is marvelous to sit and sleep and talk and laugh and eat and remember quiet.
It makes you realize just how much noise there is.
Not just outside, though there is. SO much noise of news and opinions and plans and to do's and please do's.
But I always find it to be much louder INside, as I wonder and think and worry and plan and contemplate and pray and consider and critique and nag and chide and instruct and celebrate and ponder.
Our dear friends are facing a bit of a scary time of medical unknowns and concerns for their youngest, not knowing anything for sure yet, and I find myself begging them to fight the noise in their minds and hearts, to fight their worry deliberately and continually.
Even if you can get nothing else done, I encourage them, read His Word, read His Word, read His Word in the face of every fear and worry...drown out the noise fighting to overcome you with His voice.
I remember as I tell them so to tell me so.
"Remember when we were here for dinner four years ago?" Matt asks me last night over my summer squash and his Moroccan lamb, "And talked about Haiti and figured we would be done in two years?"
I laugh out loud unexpectedly, because I DO remember, and think of all the noise of the last four years, of the last ten years we are away in the woods celebrating, and rejoice and marvel at how His still small voice has under-toned it all...guiding and directing and providing and fulfilling and sounding ALTOGETHER different from all the Haiti voices, America voices, need voices, plan voices, friend voices, OUR voices.
Someone was prodding Matt the other week to please reveal our secret plans for the future, like we have the next 5 years all planned out and just aren't telling anyone :)
My first inner-noise was, "Oh my...are we supposed to have the next five years planned out? Oh dear, maybe I should get on that!"
Which was immediately whited out by Matt's confident reminder, which said friend had kind of a hard time believing, that it is not us who makes the plans for our lives, but Him, and that we have been and will continue to move when He moves and stay when He stays and go when He goes and seek out His still small voice to lead and guide. And that that guidance has never yet come in a five year plan, but in moments of NOW.
I have this secret spot (not so secret now), at home in Haiti, where He speaks to me.
My happy place is my desk in the corner, where I meal plan and visitor plan and grade papers and blog at night and pour over His Word and pray in the noontime. But when I need silence, when everything is just too loud to hear His voice, when I am HUNGRY, I get out of my desk chair and away from calendars and dinging emails and journals and lay on the floor by my desk, flat on my back, staring at the many water stains on the ceiling from our leaky roof, stretch out my arms and legs and do. not. move.
I have ignored the door, ignored visitors and probably made someone uncomfortable.
But I promise you that EVERY TIME I have chased every noise out and sought His voice in that complete silence, waiting on Him with my whole heart and mind, that He has spoken and led and directed, peacened, taught and calmed, reminded, restored and redeemed.
Does His voice seem to be missing? Does He seem to be silent? Are you unsure that He has ANYTHING to say to you? Have you kind of forgotten through all the noise that HE has a plan and a purpose and a desire for YOUR day today and tomorrow...for your LIFE? That HE has something to say far far different, far greater, than all that the world and your world and your mind and heart are saying?
Our God is not silent.
He does NOT have nothing to say.
You might not have this beautiful opportunity to sit the in quiet for 2 days, but there is quiet to be found, His voice to be found, IN THIS MOMENT if you make it.
Wesley threw her apron over her head in the corner of her kitchen surrounded by her 19 children, seeking the quiet place where He lovingly dwells.
I stare at that water stain and refuse to move until He does.
Make a quite place, trust that our Mighty God Creator Father and Competent Communicator has something to SAY--to and through you--and refuse to let the noise...our plans, our peers, our world...drown Him out.
Resist the temptation to get ahead of His voice instead of behind it.
Fight the habit of setting out on good plans, good intentions, or good advice without finding HIS.
I've never heard Him yell. Nor has He ever MADE me listen.
And He hasn't left you now.