Occasionally, I love the sound of silence. Silence punctuated by the sound of running water, the rustling of leaves, and the chirping of birds is also just as good. Growing up in the bustling capital city of my island home did not afford many opportunities for outward silence, and it took a tremendous amount of discipline to achieve inner silence. Left unchecked, the mind is like an elementary school playground during recess. We are always thinking, always planning, and surrounded by a vast array of stimulants. Additional thoughts are constantly invading our already noisy minds. American pastor and author Charles Swindoll writes, “I cannot be the man I should be without times of quietness. Stillness is an essential part of growing deeper.” But amidst the hustle and bustle of life, who can find times of quietness?
It may come as a surprise to some that the mind needs true peace to calm down its unpredictable and never-ending flow of thoughts and feelings. True peace is rest in the mind, and to compensate for the lack of it some people often try to create a false peace with alcohol, drugs, or other addictions. Some have tried self-assurance, reachable expectations, and various forms of meditation. These provide very temporary moments of respite, but no lasting peace. Of course, true peace can only be found in being in the will of God; it is a gift from God found only through Christ. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). The world’s peace is a poor substitute for that which the child of God needs to calm his or her mind. We need the peace that only Christ can give.
To be in the will of God is to abide in the peace of God. When we are in His will, there is no need to worry, doubt, or fear; these are the activities that often keep our minds busy. He says to you and me, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). An unwavering faith in our God’s ability to take care of the matters that concern us replaces these concerns. We can rest in His care. It is no wonder the Psalmist declares, “My soul, wait in silence for God alone, for my expectation is from Him” (Psalm 62:2, WEB), a salvation that includes his peace. Though life may be challenging and unpredictable, though our bodies are frail and pain is sometimes our companion, when it seems our minds are on the verge of being overwhelmed, by God’s grace we can find stillness. We can find silence within. I am praying that for you.