It’s been 2 years since my sister passed away. All the words in the world cannot fill in the gap of her loss. Her death opened me up to a better listening of God’s Word. But for that, I had to learn to be silent.
There she was. Laying cold and silent in her hospice rolling bed. Her face pale, yellow, and weightless. Her eyes closed and body stiffening. Death hurts to look at.
An uncomfortable silence was on us all. A silence that is the most animated, penetrating, and well-understood even if no earthly words can ever capture it. Like a sixth sense born inside the bones. Like a new language with no words. Like a howling wind with echoes in the souls.
Silence in the face of death is not a muted, handicapped inward being. On the contrary, underneath the tired skin, this silence hums with mixed emotions, busy thoughts, shooting inner words, an entire universe fretting back and forth, concepts yelling and feelings screaming.
It turns out, silence is learned well in hardships and grief. Silence in the face of trials is a transition to a world-Heavenward. When the vocal cords struggle to make sense of the world at hand, silence takes us to the One who can. In our silence, listening to God’s Word says more than a library full of books can. For when we silence our mouths, we open our souls to great sermons from above.
My sister bore her silence with grace and faithfulness in the 5 months she was dying. She asked for divine words to speak into her silence. She asked for His Word to be read to her. Over and over. Chapter by chapter. Words that breathed God through the storms of our thoughts. Winds of godly wisdom blown over wintery thoughts and fears. Words that penetrated our inner tumult, dividing and binding, searching and healing. Sweeter than honey, words that medicated soul, mind, and body—coating our cells with heavenly wisdom.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:28-29)
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:53-55)
When we tune our hearts to the voice of Heaven, we are being rooted and armed for battles. Roots and swords—words of heavenly peace and hope unleashed over our spirits.
I think of Jesus choosing silence while being led to the cross. “He did not open up his mouth” Isaiah reminds us twice. Though brutally assaulted, in abhorrent pain, and utterly rejected, our Lamb chose silence while being led to the cross. His silence was not a sign of weakness or capitulation in the face of wickedness and brokenness. The Savior’s silence was his power restrained. One word and the angels would’ve freed Him. One word, and He wouldn’t have died. One word, and the world would’ve been judged forever. Instead, Jesus displayed obedience to His Father by remaining silent. He held back words so I can listen to His good news and be saved 2,000 years later.
The messianic silence on the road to Calvary gifts my own silence with powerful words of revival and comfort. The Lamb was silent so we all can be fed with eternal life. To truly listen, we must learn to be silent. God will not disappoint us: He will meet us there assuredly.
Thank you for your message today. It spoke to my heart at this Easter time. Gods blessings to you.
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