“Rest in (‘Be silent to’) the Lord.”–PSALM 37:7
. . .we may be silent to the Lord. Just because we know He loves us so really and understands us so thoroughly! There is no need when very weary, bodily or mentally, or both, to force ourselves to entertain Him, so to speak; to go through a sort of duty-work of a certain amount of uttered words or arranged thoughts. That might be if He were only to us as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night, but not with the beloved and Gracious One who has come in to abide with us, and is always there! If this is His relation to us, there is no fear but what there will be, at other times, plenty of intercourse; but now, when we are “so tired,” we may just be silent to Him, instead of speaking to Him.
This is one of the expressions which are exclusively used concerning the things of God. There is no such thing as being silent to anyone else. Silent with a mortal friend, but never silent to any but the Immortal One. Though it has its earthly analogy, it is not identically the same. For none but our Lord can interpret the unseen pulsings of that which to human ken is only silence. He hears the music they are measuring out before Him. He takes the confidence of that hush at its full value of golden love. He sees the soul’s attitude of devotion and faith through the shadows which hide it from itself.
Sometimes He takes the opportunity of our silence to speak Himself. He answers it “with good words and comfortable words.” And do we not know that one such word from Him is more than anything else, worth ten thousand-fold all the weariness or exhaustion of pain which brought us to be silent!
But sometimes He answers silence with silence. What then? Are we to conclude that He is gone away, or is not thinking about us, forgetting to be gracious? We are judging Him as He would not judge us. He did not put such an interpretation on our silence; then why should we on His? Let us take His interpretation of it; surely we should believe that He himself asserts! “He will be silent in His love” (Zeph. 3:17). Can any words be more beautiful! It is as if He, even He, who made man’s mouth, had made no words which could express His exceeding great love, and therefore He could only expand it in the silence which lies above and below and beyond all language. When we have said, as very likely we have often done, “Why art Thou silent unto me, O Lord?” why did we not take His own exquisite answer, and trust the love that was veiled in the silence? For whenever we can say, “Truly my soul waiteth upon (Heb. is silent to) God,” we may rest assured that any apparent waiting on His part is only “that He may be gracious,” yes, “very gracious unto thee.”
We may be sure He has many things to say to us, when He sees we can bear them. But till His time to speak is come, let our silence of trust respond to His silence of love.
Frances Ridley Havergal from STARLIGHT THROUGH THE SHADOWS