I can still recall my mother's voice as she would repeat "patience is a virture", and the voice inside my head would scream back "that I do not have!" Even to this day, patience is something that I must be intentional about exercising. It is not something that comes naturally or even gracefully for me.
Silence and I have had a love/hate relationship. Upon reflection, a majority of my life I have sought various "distractions" to fill the space inside my soul. The television playing in the background, the white noise of a fan, or even the steady rhythm of rain.
It was easy to cling to these "distractions" while my soul was content, however, when the storms of this world raged around me I craved the silence. The more broken I became, the more I cloaked myself in silence. It took awhile for me to understand that it was in these small, quiet moments that God began to speak with my heart and I discovered the most amazing thing. When I saturated myself with the distractions of this world I couldn't hear the whispers of God. It is only in the silence that my fragmented soul began to stir.
As we walk in the footsteps of Jesus this Holy Week, it isn't surprising that the Garden of Gethsemane looms before us...and it is in this quiet garden that the presence of God beckons us. I was afraid of the silence because it forced me to deal with my mess. The mess left in the wake of the death of a loved one, the mess left in the wake of disability, the mess left in the wake of cancer, and the mess left in the wake of bad decisions. The distractions of this world allowed me to pretend that my mess was contained within the tight little boxes that I had struggled to place them within.
However, God knows the reality of our lives...that our mess never stays within the tight little boxes that we place it within. No matter how much we distract ourselves, the mess binds us to this world instead of to Him! It was in the silence that God began the work of unraveling me from the burdens of this world, and it is in the silence that my soul learned how to fly!
Psalm 27:14 states: "Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD". I still struggle with patience, but I have learned to love the silence. In fact, I crave the silence. It is in these quiet moments when the burdens of this world melts away and I am His, and He is mine. We will all face our own version of the Garden of Gethsemane. Instead of becoming bitter because the path has taken you there, instead be intentional about embracing the silence and connecting with God...it is a conversation that He has been waiting a long time to have!