grace, quiet time, Uncategorized

“The Grace of Our Quietness:” Continued Thoughts

When I wrote “The Grace of Our Quietness” and posted it last Monday, I felt that I had veered off course from the series on “A Contemplative Life.” As I thought about the grace of our quietness, I realized that it is applicable in many areas of life. Not only should we extend the grace of our quietness by not repeating what we’ve heard about another person, but we should also extend it when someone needs a friend, a shoulder, an ear to listen, a heart to care. They may not need our opinions or comments, but they could use our support and quiet presence.

The grace of our quietness dovetails perfectly with our thoughts on A Contemplative Life.  Just as we extend the grace of quietness to others, we should extend it to ourselves. if we are going to lead a more contemplative life, we must find times when we can be quiet. To “be still and know.” After all, contemplation requires quietness.

The grace of our quietness, extended to ourselves, moves us to a more contemplative life.


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The Grace of Your Quietness

There are times when we should not be quiet. There are situations and causes about which, we, as Christians, should speak up. But that is a topic for another day.

The Bible states in I Timothy 2:1-4 (King James Version):

I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (emphasis mine)

We are to offer supplications (pleas), prayers, intercessions, and thanks for everyone so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life. And this should not be a one-time prayer, but daily.

A “quiet and peaceable life.” There are many times when our quietness is all that is needed. Such as when a friend is going through a difficult time, and they need our support, but not necessarily our words at that moment. They just need for us to sit next to them, hold their hand, pray silently, but not speak aloud. There is grace in our quietness.

Perhaps we take a meal to someone who has just come home from the hospital. They don’t need a long visit or our personal medical advice. We just need to drop off the meal, express our gratitude that they are home from the hospital and leave. There is grace in our quietness.

Maybe there’s been a death in the family of a friend, or a member of our church. We should definitely be present to love and support them. But we should be mindful of what we say. There is grace in our quietness.

A few weeks ago, I heard a man say that if we know something bad about someone – their marriage is about to implode, their finances are on the rocks, their kid is in trouble, whatever, that we not share that information, i.e., don’t gossip. Let that information stop with us. Let it stop with me. There is grace in our quietness.

Be a blessing to others by offering them the grace of your quietness.

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Step Out of the Traffic

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” (Psalm 46:10 The Message)

When the late Eugene Peterson translated Psalm 46:10 for The Message he obviously had planted a hidden camera in my car! “Step out of the traffic?” Yeah, right. I drive about 50 miles–one way–to work. Over an hour–one way. There are days when it’s enough to make me lose my religion!

Of course, Eugene Peterson was not speaking literally here. “Step out of the traffic” was his way of saying “Be still.” “Traffic” is whatever keeps you from focusing on God, be it your trip to work, housework, school work, family, politics, etc.

A number of years ago I tried to focus on God while driving into work. I played praise and worship music on the radio, and I would pray out loud in English and sometimes, in tongues. Needless to say, I prayed with my eyes open! I guess praying like this is okay, but I was still in “the traffic,” literally and figuratively, and could not effectively hear God’s voice.

To “take a long, loving look at me, your High God” I have to be still…to find a place where there are no distractions, no “traffic,” and no noise. A place where I can look into God’s face, see the love He has for me and tell Him how much I love Him. A place where I can be reminded that He is Sovereign God, maker of heaven and earth, and ruler over all-even politics. I will not preach here, but only draw your attention to II Chronicles 7:14:

 “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

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