devozine

Spiritual Practice

CALMING THE CHAOS

Carolyn Fraiser, Olivia Jones & Bekah Landfair

God, help us find the silent moments when we can listen for your voice. Teach us to still the noise around us so we can experience the peace that only you can give.

 

Still the Noise

“Study harder.” “Practice longer.” “Stay just one more minute.” Demands hounded me daily. Any spare moment was instantly filled with another activity, another responsibility, another voice. Teachers wanted better grades. Coaches urged greater endurance. Friends begged for more time. And then there was homework. Exhausted from the chaos, I screamed into my pillow. Where could I find a moment of peace?

The corner of my Bible peeked out from under pages of homework. When was the last time I spent a few minutes with God? I couldn’t remember. The noise around me distracted me from the One who offered peace—a peace I could not comprehend.

God often waits until we are quiet and undistracted to speak to us in a still, small voice. If my life is filled with noise, I cannot hear God whisper. Stilling the chaos was the only way for me to hear the voice that mattered most.

—Carolyn Fraiser

 

Rest in Silence

How can we sit still amid chaos? How can we be strong when everyone else is crying? How can we hold everything together when everyone else is falling apart?

When prayers remain unanswered, we wonder if God is listening. Trials keep coming. Hardships keep hitting. In all honesty, we want to ask, “Where are you, God? Why aren’t you helping?”

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That’s the funny thing about silence: It drives us insane. In the chaos, all we want is some peace and quiet—until that’s exactly what God gives us. When we are pleading, calling out for help, and we don’t hear a thing, we get angry and worried. We don’t want to stop to rest and be quiet.

I believe that’s why God answers in silence. We scream out chaotic prayers, while God speaks in a whisper. In a whirlwind, a whisper sounds like silence. God isn’t ignoring our prayers; God simply wants us to pause within the turmoil to listen, to rest, and to enjoy the quiet. In the silence we find the peace and comfort of God’s still, small voice.

—Olivia Jones, 21

 

Listen for God

In Exodus 14:14, Moses gives a pep talk to the Israelites, who are facing an angry Egyptian army. Amid the chaos, Moses says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (NIV).

Being still is not typically the way we respond to difficult situations. We ask questions. We plead with God to bring healing. Maybe we tell God that we’re angry about the circumstances we’re in.

Pouring out our hearts to God is important, but we also need to be quiet so that God actually can speak to us. Often, we don’t stop to consider how God might already be answering our prayers. Sometimes, we need to be still and to trust that, just as God promised the Israelites, God will fight for us too.

Take a moment to think about a tough situation you are facing right now. Pray that you might be able to see how God is working in that situation, and ask for help to remove anything that might prevent you from hearing God’s voice.

—Bekah Landfair, 22

—from devozine (January/February 2020). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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