Calm Before the Storm

Word received while waking Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My first thoughts this morning when I awoke had to do with the silence of the Lord and the overall challenge of hearing Him clearly. Sometimes He speaks. Sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes I hear Him. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes when I do hear Him, I hear only in part, sometimes misunderstanding what I hear. Sometimes when I don’t hear Him, He’s speaking and I’m too caught up in my own thoughts to hear Him. Sometimes when I hear Him, I don’t realize it’s Him.

But then there are times of silence, when I don’t hear Him because He isn’t speaking. Those times are a mystery to me, especially when they last a long time. I inevitably wonder about myself. Am I ignoring Him because I don’t want to hear Him? Have I hardened my heart? Are my own emotions getting in the way? For example, I never hear the Lord when I’m angry or frustrated or afraid, or when I’m entertaining temptation.

His is a quiet, gentle voice (1 Kings 19:11-12). Perhaps because we’re so far from glory, the dullness of our own ears may make His voice seem quieter than it actually is, but with rare exception, His voice is hard to discern from my own thoughts.

Given all of that, there remain times when He is in fact silent. That was the silence that came to mind this morning. And ironically, I heard Him speak of it as clearly as I’ve ever heard Him speak.

He said that His silence often comes in the calm before the storm. It is a call to prayer, the prayer of one in waiting, the prayer of one preparing for His coming, prayer mingled with worship, exalting Him, humbling ourselves, waiting for His protection, His mercy, His deliverance, His covering.

The urge to pray grew in me, along with a sense of urgency. The time is short and the need is great.

Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-14) came to mind. When we respond to His silence with prayer, we are like the prudent virgins, preparing themselves for the Bridegroom’s coming.

“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”

Regarding the prayer that He wants from us in times of His silence, a hymn came to mind:

  1. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
    Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
    Mold me and make me after Thy will,
    While I am waiting, yielded and still.
  2. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
    Search me and try me, Master, today!
    Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
    As in Thy presence humbly I bow.
  3. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
    Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
    Power, all power, surely is Thine!
    Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.
  4. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
    Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
    Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
    Christ only, always, living in me. (Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907)

I have been singing it and praying it in my mind all day since waking. He is the Potter, I am the clay.