Be Still, the Door to Your Hope is Knocking

This post is linked up to Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart and Open Mic Monday:

coffee12-e1454905885970

Revelation 3: 20 

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Since writing my last Unwrapping Hope post on the Active Pursuit of Hope, I’ve been meditating on the importance of reverent, responsive silence in seeking hope. Throughout the Bible, God calls us into this active silence: in the call to the Sabbath, in His response to Job, where He lists the wonders of His powers stunning Job into awestruck stillness, in His call to live out our faith in “repentance and rest” and “quietness and trust” (Isiaiah 30: 15, NIV):

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.

And perhaps the most vivid depiction of this calling is found in 1 Kings 19: 11 – 12 (The Message), as the LORD reveals Himself to Elijah:

Then he was told, “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by.”

A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.

He’s standing at the door knocking, His voice a “gentle and quiet whisper” and yet, like The Woman in the Song of Songs, I’m quick to respond with (Song of Songs 5: 3, The Message):

“But I’m in my nightgown – do you expect me to get dressed? I’m bathed and in bed – do you want me to get dirty?”

I respond with noise, with excuses, with a busy disposition and yet He stands there calling (Song of Songs 5: 2, The Message):

“Let me in, dear companion, dearest friend, my dove, consummate lover! I’m soaked with the dampness of the night, drenched with dew, shivering and cold.”

His still, loving voice calls me, in my husband’s face, yearning for me to stop and listen, really listen, in my girls beckoning me to sit and play, in my friends and extended family waiting for me to pick up the phone, send that message or just come sit beside them. His “gentle and quiet whisper” reverberates within me, as I “busy” myself with the seen world of approval-seeking, and fail to acknowledge the unseen cries for prayer from His Broken Body. And then, finally, I stop to listen and He’s gone. All I hear is the breaking of my own heart and all I feel is the yearning growing, widening and deepening. And so, finally, I seek in earnest, reminding myself that “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine.” (Song of Songs 5: 3, The Message)…and then, what Grace turns toward me…

20151218_213140

Just as the disciples who fell asleep, when Jesus called them to support Him moments before He would be called forth to the path of the Cross, He graciously shakes me awake to grow, widen and deepen my yearning in His departure. It is then, I turn toward the Hope He holds out to me and enter the silence to listen intently. I hear the gentle and quiet whisper return, carried by a pain that pierces my “busy”, non-responsive heart, beckoning me back into His Presence to commune in reverent, active, responsive silence.

Prayers depart the lips that had forsaken the call to pray ceaselessly, rather than in intermittent spells.

Lord forgive my failure to behold You and incline my sinful heart toward You, to enter the silence, to heed your gentle and quiet whisper with a reverant, responsive heart. Let me forsake the seen distractions, to answer Your Knocking, a knocking that calls me to actively pursue Your Way, the quiet Way Beckoning me into the Unseen, Realm of Powerful Hope.

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers on Psalm 62

Surely if ever any generation needed the preaching-’ Be still and let God speak’- we need it. Even religious men are so busy with spreading or defending Christianity, that they have little time, and many of them less inclination, for quiet meditation and still communion with God. Newspapers, and books, and practical philanthropy, and Christian effort, and business, and amusement, so crowd into our lives now, that it needs some resolution and some planning to get a clear space where we can be quiet, and look at God.

Note: The blog post of Debbie Barrow Michael’s that I link to shares of the passing of her beloved son into the realms of Heaven. Several months ago, I came upon her book, But the Greatest of these is Love, about her journey to adopt, as she heeded God’s call to LOVE and then came to read further on her blog.

My heart ached reading of the struggles her son faced and so I committed to pray for him, which I did, fervently so. But then, as time passed I forsook the call to prayer, only returning to it in patches here and there. And then, last night, I returned to the blog to read of his passing…and I sat there weeping. It was a wake-up call. Not because I believe my prayers could have saved him from earthly death, but because I had chosen other earthly activities above the call to wrap the Body of Christ in our prayers, failing to heed His beckoning voice.

If you, too struggle, like me, to remain faithful in prayer, you may like to download the Mobile Knee app. It is this app that reminded me to pray for Roma and his family and to check up on him, as I prepared to enter a prayer to its pages to remind me to faithfully pray, where I had failed to previously.

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Be Still, the Door to Your Hope is Knocking

  1. I’m intrigued by the concept of “active silence.” I just signed up for a second silent weekend retreat at a nearby monastery. I did one last year and it proved so beneficial. Although being silent in both traditional ways as well as just in spirit is difficult, it really does allow us to hear more from God in ways we might miss when we’re so noisy. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa, ever since reading Micha Boyett’s Found, I’ve longed to go on such a retreat. I’ve even found a place in the Netherlands that offers such a thing…maybe one day! And yes, it can be difficult, but like you point out, it is also really important. I pray God’s blessing over your retreat. May your heart and mind be stilled to hear His gentle and quiet whisper.

    Like

  3. I love how you describe God seeking you through your husband or your children. What a beautiful image. How wonderful that God never gives up on waiting for us, even when we are “too busy” to respond to Him. We need to heed his call!

    Like

    1. I’ve started realizing that He really does seek us in those around us. And stilling ourselves to sit and commune with our families, also draws us into His Presence, as we quiet ourselves before Him. Yes, it is so wonderful, but indeed, we need to heed the call. Thanks for dropping by and being a encouragement in commenting, Betsy.

      Like

  4. This post reminds me that God is all around us but are we missing Him? Are our eyes and ears set to Him or the world? I need to be still more and active in listening to Him, thank you for that reminder Anna.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, Crystal….mine are often set to the world. I’m memorizing Matthew 6 : 1-2 right now and it struck me how sad “Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” is…what are we missing by setting our eyes on earthly things. May God open our hearts, minds and eyes.

      Like

  5. I love your passion for prayer and longing for a deeper connection with Christ. It’s a reminder that I need to be much more fervent in this area.

    Like

    1. Oh I think we all need to heed the call at different times. Such a human failing to become distracted! Thankful for God’s grace and for His loving reminders to commune with Him. Thanks for dropping by. So glad it encouraged you.

      Like

  6. Good morning, Anna. This is such a poetic response to God’s call to remain in prayer. Thank you for your heart of honesty and of encouragement. I am encouraged to pray more often than I already do. Sometimes dinner is the only time where prayer gets unfolded. I’m showing my children that this is okay. I have to become more diligent and more caring about my prayer life. Thank you for linking up to Open Mic Monday for the soul. What a blessing you are. Have a wonderful week.

    Like

  7. Oh Carolina, I so recognize the struggle. Downloading the app has helped some, as has accepting grace on the days I’m too overwhelmed by emotions to utter a prayer for others. I’m learning I can only pray from the heart if I slow to receive God’s Love and Grace in my own life. So, when grief hits hard I’m ever so slowly learning to come to Him with it, or when I have gotten angry at my kids, I’m slowing to seek forgiveness first, rather than “religiously” moving forward to be “good” to others. After all, we love because He first loved us: but our love for others is actually His Love poured into us being released into the lives of others, so if we shut it off, then we have no true love to give. I’m a slow learner, but He’s a good and patient Teacher!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.