Have you ever been at a loss for words? Do you ever have plans that fizzle out even before you get started? I know I have. This is my third attempt at writing an article for this edition of “From the Pulpit.”
The first two attempts were each about half completed when I lost my inspiration. When I began ideas poured into my head but they didn’t seem adequate to share at this time. In Proverbs 15:23 it says, “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!” I take this article very seriously and I always want to write something that will speak into the hearts and lives of the readers. So here is my dilemma: I feel as though I am experiencing some sort of “writer’s block.”
What do you say when you are at a loss for words or your plan fizzles out? Nothing! It’s not the end of the world and the birds won’t stop singing because you or l have nothing to say. We sometimes feel we must respond to every comment made or fill every silent gap with words but this is not necessarily true. Ecclesiastes chapter three shares a good verse that goes like this, “A time to be quiet and a time to speak.” As King Solomon penned these words, I’m sure in all his wisdom, he had learned that “silence is golden.”
There are times God would like to speak to us but we are so busy talking we can’t hear His voice. First Samuel 15:16 says, “Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night. And he said to him, “Speak on.”
King Saul had disobeyed the command of God and Samuel was confronting him about his sin. Saul continued to speak trying to justify his disobedience but Samuel told him to be quiet and listen to what God had to say. This time the message was not good and God revealed that He had rejected Saul as king.
How many times do you or I sin and instead of asking forgiveness and receiving God’s grace, we keep trying to justify ourselves with endless talking? I recall a time we were praying for a young man and the situation was not looking good. He was getting restless and we were getting discouraged. The pastor’s wife came in and encouraged us to get quiet. When we did the young man’s demeanor changed and he became receptive to our prayer. Quiet was the key that turned everything around.
Correction is not pleasant but it is necessary for us so we can shed the weights and sins that slow us down as we run the race God has set before us. Be quiet and listen to what God is saying to you. Don’t function under that old, “We’ve always done it this way mentality.” During the silence you may learn something that will save your life.
The absence of words may lead us to actions. The times we have nothing to say may be an opportunity to do something. God can express His love for others through us. My dad passed away two years ago and my friend came to the hospital in Grove City. He didn’t say a whole lot but he showed his love for us by being there and that provided much comfort.
Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Webster defines the word still, “to become motionless or silent; quiet.” We need those times when we are quiet and God has the opportunity to show us His love. A handshake, a pat on the back or a hug can convey the love of God without a word being spoken.
Since I have been a pastor, there have been multiple times where a pat on the back was all I needed to be assured that God was there and he hadn’t forgotten me. Let God speak to you during the moments of silence. He has much to say.
James D. Fleck is pastor of Oasis Family Worship Center, Hermitage.724-342-2476