silence – 1: to compel or reduce to silence: still 
2: to restrain from expression: suppress

Shut up! 

My daughter reminds me that these words are off limits for the grandkids and I need to stop saying them. So, I’ll say it nicer … Stop talking! Like the angel who told an unbelieving Zechariah: You will not be able to speak until Elizabeth gives birth. 

Why would God do that?  They had wanted a child for so many years, they had given up. It was ridiculous to believe his wife was pregnant at this late date. So, instead of saying Thank You God and being able to run to all his friends and tell them the good news, his voice was taken away.

Again, why? Maybe it was a lesson in listening. Maybe it was a chance to look around at the events in a different way, a way that was internal, personal and intentional. Instead of a conversation, where you are thinking about your reply, you are instead noticing, not the words another person was speaking, but the heart of the matter that concerned them. Maybe it was a lesson in trusting. What if God were saying I’m going to give you some time to think this whole thing over to make sure you know it was Me who caused this to happen, not you. Maybe time was needed to contemplate the bigger picture.

Before my husband died I was involved in a prayer ministry where I prayed out loud. I was even starting to get comfortable speaking my thoughts and concerns and hopes and needs, for others and myself, to a group of people. After Nick died, my mouth closed and my words stuck in my throat. I’ve been asked to join in other prayer groups, I go, I try, but I am tongue-tied, my thoughts can’t seem to express the reality of the situation others are facing. I’m silent.

Again, why? Honestly, I don’t know. But God does. I hear Him say listen and trust. That’s all for now. So simple and yet so hard. Wait on the Lord for His timing is perfect. Look around and just see. Trust in me and wait. I have a plan and it’s all going to work out.

My new words: Please …stop talking.

“Be still, and know that I am God…”
Psalm 46:10

Linda Tomlinson

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