I love stillness. Maybe it’s because of my age, or my personality type (mostly introverted melancholy). I haven’t always loved it, though. When I was younger I hated being alone or having nothing to do. I was more comfortable with continual noise than silence. Looking back on where I was and where I am now, I can see God has taught me the importance and great value of having regular times of being still and quiet.
Stillness is not necessarily external. I’ve discovered that one can be inwardly still when surrounded by people, loud noise, and even chaos. It has taken many years to learn this. The greatest determining factor, I believe, is learning to quiet the soul. This first requires some inner healing and deliverance from damaged emotions and tormenting thoughts. Once that has been taken care of it is easier to tune into your spirit, which is in union with the Holy Spirit. Because He typically speaks in a still, small voice, it is very difficult to discern what He is saying when we are unable to quiet our soul.
When we struggle to quiet our souls, it is easy for confusion to enter in, causing us to think God is saying something that is really coming from our own desires. I have done this many, many times, and seen others do it as well. This usually leads to inner turmoil, discouragement, and disappointment with God when things don’t turn out as we had hoped.
In contrast, a quiet soul is a trusting soul. When we learn to still the inner turmoil, we can rest in God’s faithfulness and provision. David spoke of this in Psalm 131:2, “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” A weaned child no longer cries for its mother’s milk. He has learned that his needs will be met.
When we are able to be inwardly still and take regular time to do so, we hear God more easily and learn to trust Him as we enter into deeper intimacy. The deeper we go in Him, the greater our desire for more of Him becomes, and the more quickly we are transformed into His likeness. The stiller the water, the clearer the reflection. We can actually accelerate our spiritual growth and maturity by taking time to learn and practice stillness.
If you struggle with stillness, what is hindering you?