Being still and quiet is a struggle. It always has been for me. Finding a time and a place where I can just get away with God during the day took some strategic planning. Once I finally carved out a solid amount of time to consistently have time with God every day, I was excited. I also have to say I was rather proud of myself, as sad as that may sound. But my pride did not last very long; it never does. Thankfully, my pride in myself is always put back in its place rather quickly. I was sitting there, having my “quiet time” when a very convicting question came to my mind.
“Is my ‘quiet time’ really quiet”?
My first response was of course it is! I mean just listen! There was no one around, so no one was talking. There was no music. My phone was even on do not disturb and out of my sight! How much more quiet could it be right now? But the question still pushed its way into my mind, like it was waiting for me to give the right answer.
Listen, is it truly silent?
I was forced to face the correct answer. No, it was not quiet. My mind was preoccupied. I was thinking about other things. I was still planning out what needed to get done that day, what could be put off until tomorrow, wondering about those tests I just took, and those papers I turned in. No, it was not quiet. It was not quiet because I was preoccupied. My mind was not fully focused on God, which means I was not really listening for His voice and was not fully resting in His presence.
As I faced the painful reality of my no-so-quiet “quiet time”, I was brought to Psalm 131. This Psalm is only three verses long, but it gives such a powerful lesson on what quiet time should be.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.
It’s so beautiful; this is what our quiet time should look like, simply beautiful. Our quiet time should not be plagued by a racing mind. We have to learn to quiet our minds when we spend time with God. Maybe this means you need to pray a little longer before you read the Word, or maybe you need to sing a worship song to prepare your mind. We just need to set aside what is preoccupying our minds; we need to have a calm and quiet soul. This is the only way we can fully experience God and hear His voice clearly. Just being content in the presence of God should be enough. The desire to fully be in God’s presence, to fully be immersed in His Word, to be fully engaged with our Father, should be greater than any to-do list.
I know doing this will be hard, and sometimes feel impossible. I know for me, it will take some time before I can completely quiet my mind and soul. It is a discipline that needs to be learned. But I find comfort in knowing that our Father wants being in His presence to be quiet and rested. He wants us to hear from Him. He wants us to have peace and rest.