LISTENING IN THE SILENCE
A wisp of cloud brushes the bluff towering imposingly above the silent valley; a filter softening rough edges, like the Spirit softening me. Barely there, gentle, a cool mist rising. Whispers in the wind. I hear Him here, in this quiet place, His voice as gentle as that cloud. Not telling, not even really saying— just soothing, stilling.
The tightness in my chest loosens. I breathe deep the crisp fragrance of winter’s chill.
In the stillness I hear words— His words, from His Word. He paints a picture for me to see.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
And carries them close to his heart;
He gently leads…
And I do see! I see Him here, walking hills He Himself formed beneath cliffs carved of His own hands—
tending, gathering, carrying, leading… me.
I see myself too: that wayward, wandering, worry-filled one. The one who rolls in wrong places, wants the wrong things, the one who woke up in the early hours, fretful, fear prone, fussing.
That I am not enough, that I cannot be enough, that my not-enoughness will sink my hopes, my plans, my year ahead.
Because it’s too much and I know it. And I am too little, I know that too. And all these things I hope to do won’t be done because I cannot and I know it and so does He.
Failure looms and I am, down deep where no one knows, afraid.
That’s when I hear the whispers; words misting, cloud like, calling…
Come, climb up here, follow Me to these heights. See what I see. There is beauty here.
But those cliffs are far away, too far. I don’t know how, don’t have time, cannot go alone.
I am not enough.
And the light dawns, my mind sees, that Spirit seeing, knowing, speaking sureness.
I cannot do, but He can. I dare not try, but He does. I am not enough, but He is.
He can accomplish what concerns me.
He does dare use me— this less-than, unable, worry-prone me— to do my “assigned task” (Mark 13v34)
He is enough, and so am I when I go to Him, listen to Him, hide in Him, abide. (John 15v5)
And now I hear. I know. I pull out that pad of lined paper- yellow because somehow it’s supposed to help me remember. New- because this is a new day, a new year, a new plan.
Lord— Abba— Shepherd of this worried one, please—
Plan this year for me.
Write my list.
Assign my tasks.
Fill this record of my days with Your faithfulness.
Not my will— please, never that!
I’m ready now— not to plan, not to project, not to pretend I can do more than I am able, but to follow.
Like His sheep: gathered close, carried, led.
Do you feel inadequate for the task you’ve been assigned?
- Babies that keep you up at night and tired all day?
- A job in a place that sinks you?
- School too hard?
- Relationships you can’t figure out?
Have you heard His whispers? We gather hope by knowing…
(image by Bethany Small)