And Now Thou Shalt Shut Up!

Lori 2016Every generation has its challenges.
Ours doesn’t know when to shut up.
Trust me, I could be my generation’s poster girl for this.
No one has ever had to encourage me to expand my thoughts on a topic.
Want to be the “voice of our generation?”
Good luck trying to be heard.
We emerged from the womb expressing opinions
and invented ways that we can continue speaking from beyond the grave.
So the challenge for us
is to shut up
when shutting up is what it takes.
I never thought I’d say this but talking doesn’t solve everything.
My father’s generation has taken a lot of criticism through life (and often rightly so) for being unwilling to talk, express their feelings verbally, engage in constructive dialog.
All that is good, but somewhere along the line, we started to believe that everything could be solved if we just talked long enough, loud enough, and to the right people.
Not so.
There’s a time for everything under the sun.
A time to speak
and a time to refrain from speaking.
Sometimes when life is really, really hard
and a person is in serious trouble
talking about it every moment
only adds to the weight of it all.
Sometimes there’s a call for silence.
When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt
they stood on the banks of the impassable Red Sea
and turned around to find Pharaoh’s army gaining on them from behind.
Imagine the sound of thousands of Israelites crying out to Moses, “Have you brought us out into the desert to die?”
This was a major freak out moment for God’s people.
Moses then speaks saying, “Shut up a moment!”
Okay, that’s my paraphrase.
The actual verse in Exodus 14:13-14 reads, “ And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
And, because our generation invented amazing special effects,
you can readily imagine what happened next as Moses parted the Red Sea,
allowing the impossible – the Israelites cross on foot
and when the Egyptian army follows suit
the sea closes back around them and the people are saved.
Not by words
but by the power of the Living God.
Sometimes we need to speak up.
Sometimes we need to express ourselves.
Sometimes we need to talk things out.
Sometimes that is the answer.
But once in a while
we need to shut up.
Be silent.
And wait for the salvation of the Lord.
I think that’s the challenge for our generation.
Staying silent
when that’s what the time and the Spirit calls us to do.
Have you ever been called to shut up?
When you’ve observed silence, how did it work out for you?
I’d love to know.
I’ve alot to learn about shutting up.
Teach me.

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3 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Sometimes silence really is golden.

  2. #1. Amen
    #2. How did you know I’m working on this?

  3. Many, many times, when I want to reply right away, I can tell by the Spirit’s prodding that “now isn’t the time. Wait.” This is especially important in marriage. It’s often best not to say what we think at the moment–before thinking and praying. And, I find that, most of the time that I get this prodding to be silent, the problem doesn’t even exist later. So, it’s much better not to have spoken.

    Good thoughts. Loved the music with rests only. :o)