I’ve never been one for silence. Quietness and darkness tend to put me on edge because I have such an active mind that without distraction and noise, a lot of times my mind will wander into incredibly weird places.
But, they say you never really know how much you love something until it’s taken away? Well this past semester absolutely took away any potential for silence, quiet time or alone time to just rest. It was filled with days of studying, writing, preparing, working, etc. that wore me down. Everyone has these seasons in their life where it is just non-stop go, go, go.
So when the semester ended, I was actually craving silence, and quiet, alone time. It became a perfect metaphor for this Christmas season where we celebrate the season of Advent, a time of expectant waiting and celebration of the birth of Jesus. Advent’s themes of quiet reflection, patience and silent expectation were exactly what I needed to decompress from a year of highs, louds and actions.
Enter: “Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent” by Enuma Okoro.
This little 30-day devotional (which I downloaded on my iPhone) is a God-send (no pun intended). It follows the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah and their miraculous conception of John the Baptist. Rather than focusing on the traditional birth story of Jesus, this devotional looks at all the intricacies of Elizabeth’s journey and how silence from God, silence from her husband (when he was rendered mute by the angel) and silence of waiting for her baby boy teach us many things about our own seasons of silence.
Honestly, I’ve been battling what I feel as my own season of silence over the last few months, where I have felt quiet when I prayed my hardest, or misunderstanding when prayers were not answered, or frustration when all my plans seem to fall apart. But, slowly over the last few weeks, reading this lovely book, has restored my heart and showed me the joy that comes in the times of waiting. I even read it in silence each morning over my coffee and bowl of grits before I turn on any electronics, lights, TVs, Christmas music, whatever. This is also why I’ve been quiet on here, I needed detox time. And I’m loving this quiet time more and more.
I’m not finished reading yet, but here’s a snippet of what I’m enjoying most about this book so far:
“Usually we think of God’s timing despairingly because we assume we know what’s best for us. But the scripture passages for the third week of Advent suggest that what we perceive as slowness of action is actually God’s patience with us.”
Such wonderful reminders during this busy, loud, active Christmas season. As we wait for God to move in our lives, there are countless ways to be thankful in the in-between times too.