I always have music playing. I’m grateful for YouTube and the newly discovered Spotify for when I’m at work. I have iTunes with more music than I can remember for when I’m at home or at Starbucks. I have my iPod for when I’m driving, so there’s no interruption with annoying commercials or obnoxious radio hosts. There’s always music playing. Even when I’m places where I don’t like the music, I’m grateful for it’s presence. Because there is something far worse than annoying music: silence.
The hardest thing for this generation, for me, to do is to simply sit still. Even when we shut off the 999,999,999.925 means of social media, we still keep going. Even with good intentions, we play our favorite worship album so we can spend time with God without distractions. But, what if that very worship album is a distraction? What if those very songs proclaiming Christ crucified are a way to keep the focus on something other than what God would say to us in the silence?
“Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10) is perhaps the most difficult command to keep today, but also the most necessary. In a world where divorce, abuse, and neglect are more prevalent than in ages past, the silence scares us. Because in the silence, the scars of deep wounds haunt us, and the skeletons of past sins torment us. In the silence we have no hope of pushing out the painful memories that plague our very souls, nothing to distract us from the reality in which we exist. No hope of victory if we do the unthinkable and turn around and fight. Or do we?
The command was not simply to “Be still” but also to “know that I am God.” God knows that in the silence the depths of our hearts will be come to light, and that our instinct is to run from those painful realities. But He has given us grace in the second part of this command, we find hope in knowing that He is God. In actively dwelling on and confessing His Lordship and Sovereignty and His goodness while being still, we find beauty in the scars of the past, knowing that those wounds serve to conform us to the image of Christ, even if we don’t see that fruit yet.
In the stillness, that which constantly haunts us comes to light. But when we focus on Christ, gods and demons are defeated in the silence.