Oh, the Noise!
Wait quietly, two words that often sound dismal to a child. Of course, that would also include phrases such as sit quietly, work quietly, be quiet, and the famous, ”Let’s play the quiet game.” Children just don’t seem to like the quiet. The more noise the better seems to be their mantra. But studies have shown that noise affects human behavior and not in such a good way.
In one experiment carried out by psychologists, a student leaving the library intentionally dropped an armload of books. The results showedÂ that in over 50% of these planned situations, a passerby stopped and helped the student pick up the books. Then the experimenters brought in noise. They obtained a lawn mower without a muffler and started it where the student would again intentionally drop the books. This time, only about 10% of the people who passed stopped to help. It was clear that behavior changed because of the excessive noise.
There have been many other studies on the effects that noise has on human behavior such as an experiment in Los Angeles. Here researchers found that children who lived in neighborhoods near the airport could not complete certain tasks when jets were landing and taking off as easily as children who lived in quiet neighborhoods. In addition, there are many studies in prisons that reveal how the high level of noise creates more problems among prisoner behavior. Furthermore, it even ranks the highest complaint among the prisoners themselves more so than food quality and other dismal conditions.
Revelations in the Quiet Times
Quiet times are obviously necessary for it is in the quiet that actions can be contemplated, and things revealed. The mind must take a rest and get away from all the ”noise” to see life as it should be and to recognize what is truly important. George Fox said, ”Carry some quiet around inside thee. Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit, from thy own thoughts, and then thou wilt feel the principle of God to turn thy mind to the Lord from whence cometh life; whereby thou mayest receive the strength and power to allay all storms and tempests.” In other words, it is in the quiet that we can focus, reflect, recognize, and hear God.
As I write today, it is Good Friday, and well over a 1000 years ago our Lord hung crucified bearing not just physical pain but humiliation, persecution, and insults among other horrible acts. But what is worse is that in a few more hours He will suffer the most dismal of it all as He is totally separated from the Father, so He can fully bear all our sins. He could have stopped it but chose not to because He wanted us to live. Without His sacrifice, we wouldn’t have the ability for the salvation that we hold today. His love for us is beyond belief and one that we can’t fully comprehend because we are not without sin.
As I reflect upon His sacrifice for us I think about His disciples and followers who now find themselves forced into quietly waiting. The gamut of their emotions soared ranging from confusion, anger, fear, and questioning as they wait in disbelief. As this day of horrors moves forward it was probably with numbness that they went into their Sabbath observance.
Quietly Waiting on the Sabbath
The Sabbath origin comes from the Hebrew word Shabbat, meaning to cease, desist, or rest. In both ancient and modern Judaism, the necessary observance of the Sabbath is not only sacred but the inviolable duty to God. A day that originally was a relatively simple Biblical concept of a weekly day of rest regardless of how it has increasingly embellished itself with prohibitions, rituals, and ceremonies of rabbinical tradition. The whole essence of the Sabbath, however, remains in its essential spirit of pointed rest and quiet reflection to set itself aside from the regular work of the week to a day of quietly waiting and worshiping God.
Was it on this Sabbath Saturday that as the disciples and followers quietly waited that they remembered the words of Christ? Is it during this time of reflection that they gained hope during their affliction? Did they learn that waiting quietly means trusting Him with every fiber of their being? Quietly waiting on God for salvation isn’t easy or always clear but itsÂ promises reveal themselves throughout history. And it is this promise that reveals itself in the quiet to the disciples all those years ago just as it reveals itself to us today.
The promise of salvation gives us the hope to move forward each day. By keeping our eyes focused on Christ we can live in hope of better days knowing that full restoration of our relationship with God is on the horizon. It is only by God’s grace that we can be delivered from sin. For without Him, there is no comfort or hope for the future. We hold the brightness of tomorrow because of Christ’s death for us today and His promise to return.
Hope Lies in the Quiet Times
The prophet Jeremiah set the stage for this week’s focus verse. It is in his grief that he recognizes that God always provides hope and His compassion is ever-present because His faithfulness is great. There is hope found in tragedy because God can turn things around for good. (Romans 8:28) God reveals to us as He did to the disciples who waited quietly that through Him that endured so much for our sins, salvation comes. And like the disciples, when we face hardship and discouragement it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. But God knew that, and He provides the help we need through the Holy Spirit.
The woes of life on earth often develop our maturity in Christ. As our patience grows so does our victory in Him. It is through our weakness that the power of the resurrection of Christ strengthens us and grows each moment. If we turn our focus to Him amid chaos seeking the quiet, He will provide and reveal Himself to us, so we can indeed quietly wait upon Him.
So, it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. Lamentations 3:26 (NLT)
He Lives and so Does His Love for You!
Be encouraged today and every day by the disciples quiet waiting reflecting upon your commitment to serving Christ. Remembering that when the pains of life hit to stay focused on the ultimate reward for your faith and the joy that lasts forever. You have the blessed assurance of eternal life with your belief so no matter what life may throw at you there is a day when all suffering and sorrow will end and go away. (Isaiah 35:10)
While quietly waiting put your full faith in God without panic or doubt remembering how Christ suffered and died for your sins. It is for that He is dueÂ your full trust of redemption. God challenges you to wait quietly on Him knowing that He will come through in His timeframe. As the end of the storyÂ reveals itself,Â He prevails because He does indeed live. Allow your convictions to keep you focused on Him even though you may experience great trouble and strife in life. Find your motivation of trust in knowing that through the love of Christ, He willingly went to the cross suffering and dying for you. Surround yourself with the comfort of knowing that because of His great love He lives and now so may you!
Love in Christ,
Waiting for God is not laziness, not going to sleep, not the abandonment of effort. For waiting for God means, first, activity under command, second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.
G. Campbell Morgan
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you find it difficult to wait quietly? Have you given reflection and experienced the provisions of the Holy Spirit when you focus on God and wait quietly upon Him? Share your thoughts on the importance of focus, reflection, and necessity of being quiet in His presence.