Monday, May 31, 2010

Thoughts on Quietness

I Thessalonians 4:11, "And that ye study to be quiet . . ."

The placid waters of the lake mirrored the surrounding trees. Calmly, three swans graced through the stillness, leaving a clearly marked path. Nothing seemed to move on the azure, glass-like waters. But three days later, the waters crashed and roared against the rocks below. Billows of foamy waves washed onto the shore, driving ships awry and stranding swimmers, who clung desperately to the hope that the man who had disappeared beneath the waves would once again resurface. How could these waters so dramatically shift with time? No visible cause was apparent, but the great moving wind, the unseen powers of storm--had combined to bring a hurricane.

Too often, the heart of a woman can easily shift from one of implicit trust in God to one of fretful care and worry.

Lamentations 3:26 states, "It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." And yet, in our many endeavors of life we often wear a cloak of worry instead of one of waiting. When I am not heeding the Holy Spirit's voice, that quiet heart of I Thessalonians 4:11 eludes me. Typically analytical, it is natural for me to want to figure out a situation, without casting the whole lot into the lap of my Savior. Too often have I lived in the storm-like conditions of a billowing soul, failing to "rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7). However, with the aid of God's Holy Spirit and through the transforming power of God's Word, I have seen a growth in the spirit of rest that "sits still and waits for the salvation of God" (Exodus 14:13).

Being quiet. Paul directs this command specifically to the Thessalonican Christians, and Peter makes it plain that Christian women in particular are to diligently adorn themselves with this beautiful gemstone.

The diamond glistened every direction I turned it. I was proud of the newly acquired gemstone on my ring finger and found myself glancing at it, turning it, admiring it whenever I sat in the light. The platinum band supported the gleaming gem, and whenever I showed my engagement ring, people remarked on the glistering quality of this precious stone. My fiance had gotten the highest quality cut, so that the diamond caught the light rays and bounced them off most beautifully.

But there is another gem that glistens more beautifully the more it is exposed to Light. It is of the finest cut and catches the Light, giving off a rainbow of colors in many directions. In fact, it is far more precious than the ring I wear each day, being indestructible and, in the sight of God "of great price." Furthermore, wearing it follows God's command in I Peter 3:4, to "let [women's adorning] be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet [or "peaceable"] spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (I Peter 3:4). This gemstone is hidden in the heart, that most important location, which, with all earnest diligence is to be guarded, since out of it are the "issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).

To have this attribute of quietness, we must have the Spirit of peace in our lives. He alone produces such fruit in believers (Galatians 5:22-23). Born again women possess this indwelling Spirit but must submit to Him, if they will also bear His fruit, namely this peaceable spirit. As unnatural as it is for us to attain this priceless gem of quietness on our own, peace can become a normal state of mind--not an unexpected event on the road of life--as we daily yield to the Spirit's leadership in our lives.