Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Waiting in silence...

Below are sections from my devotional the last couple days. Does anyone else find that often their reading fits with whatever circumstances they might be dealing with, or thinking about? So often that has been the case for me....I'll sit down to read and be like, "wow, that's just what I needed today!" These sections got me thinking, though I must confess that I am not always silent - those who know me well have heard me complain over second causes, or ask, "why?' The thing is is that I find enormous comfort in realizing the Lord is behind everything that happens in my life, but it made me realize if I truly believe that, then to be complaining about second causes is finding fault with what God is doing. I'm reminded once again of how much of the Christian life is about submission.

"I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
   for it is you who have done it."
Psalm 39:9

David looked through secondary causes to the first cause and was silent. The sight of God in an affliction is irresistibly effective to silence the heart, and to stop the mouth of a gracious man. It is the duty of gracious souls to act so under the greatest afflictions and saddest providences. This is a prudent and holy silence. It sees God and acknowledges Him as the author in all our afflictions. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." Job 12:21. If Job had not seen God in his affliction he would have cried out, "oh these wretched Cahaldeans, they have plundered and spoiled me!" Job discerned God's commission in their hands and laid his hand upon his mouth.
Aaron beholding the untimely death of his sons held his peace (Leviticus 10:3).
Joseph saw the hand of God in his brothers selling him into Egypt (Genesis 45:8)......
When afflictions arrest us, we shall murmur, and grumble, and struggle until we see that it is God that strikes. We must see Him as King of kings, and Lord of lords, and stoop under His almighty majestic hand.

"For God alone my soul waits in silence;
   from him comes my salvation."
Psalm 62:1

A gracious prudent silence under the afflicting hand of God includes a holy quietness and calmness of mind and spirit. It shuts out al inward murmurings of the heart. Such a soul is submissive to God. It was a Father that put those bitter cups in your hand. It was love that laid those heavy crosses upon your shoulders, and grace that put the yoke about your neck....This holy silence humbly acquits God of all blame and injustice.

"I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous,
   and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me."
Psalm 119:75.

God's judgments are always just. He never afflicts, but in faithfulness. His will is the rule of justice, and therefore a gracious soul dare not question His proceedings. The afflicted soul knows that God can do nothing but that which is righteous, and puts his mouth in the dust before him....A holy silence shines in no greater way than to humbly clear God from all that which a corrupt heart is apt to charge Him with in the day of affliction. God can give nothing and do nothing, but that which is good. Others do frequently, but He cannot possibly.
Thomas Brooks.

Sharing with Soli Deo Gloria, and


2 comments:

  1. These thoughts remind me of Ann Voskamp's "hard eucharisteo" -- have you read her book, "1,000 Gifts"? It's easy for us to blame God for our afflictions sometimes, but you are right: "God can give nothing and do nothing, but that which is good. Others do frequently, but He cannot possibly." I so need to keep this top of mind when darkness falls...but how easily I forget.

    Thank you for linking up to Graceful this week!

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  2. Yes, I have. I got it at the library but I need to get my own copy sometime. It's a different way to look at things and hard for someone who too often sees the glass has half empty...but with God's help it can be done. So thankful He is good!

    I'm glad it was a blessing!
    Stefanie

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1