Seven Sacred Pauses: The Great Silence

Thanks for sticking with me all week.  This is the final of the pauses.  It’s been a heck of a week.

The scripture provided for this pause is from Psalm 42: By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.

A prayer to the God of my life.  Oh.  Truth.  He is the God of my life.

This prayer is your daily wrap up prayer.  Your bedtime prayers with family.  The focus is supposed to be two-fold: awareness and darkness.  The former is an awareness of our strengths and weaknesses, beloved sinners as Jen Hatmaker says.  But the latter sounds ominous.  The prayer though is so valuable for the end of the day, and Hatmaker continues to say that the darkness theme is, “protection from some forms and acceptance of others.  We ask the Spirit to guard against our enemy, protecting our zeal and innocence in Christ.  We pray our children are sheltered under God’s wings….On the other hand, we welcome the soft darkness that is exquisitely beautiful and healing.  God dims the lights on our weary bodies…there is beauty to the darkness, the natural rhythm of the earth that invites us to be still and rest.”

Can’t you appreciate that?  The darkness that is in this world that we see, unfortunately, on display.  We pray for God to guard us and to hedge our children inside His arms.  But the darkness of the night, the time to rest, well that is something to be immensely grateful for.  We are on a dizzying pace, friends.  We are frantic.  Frentic.  Frenzied.  Fried.  This entire experiment was designed to slow that down a little, or at the very least, to be more self-aware of God working in the middle of our lives and to allow Him to do so.  This pause acknowledges that He has given us this darkness in which to rest.  In which to recuperate.  To let go of the iPhones and Outlook calendar reminders and enter a space He created so we could heal from the wear of the day.  Ah, a gift.

Isn’t it great that the Psalm written to speak to the Lord at the night is SO short:

Behold, bless the Lord, All you servants of the Lord, Who by night stand in the house of the Lord!  Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the Lord. The Lord who made heaven and earth Bless you from Zion!

Y’all, that is the entire Psalm.  It’s like they were saying, thank you Lord, bless you, now let’s go to sleep.  Do you ever feel guilty for a brief prayer?  I felt like this reiterated that each of these pauses didn’t have to be 10 to 15 minutes.  Acknowledge Him, ask for protection, and then ask for His rest.

Psalm 116: Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Proverbs 24: A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest.

Matthew 11: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

 

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