Discover Joy in the Silence When Illness Slows Us Down

silenceSilence can draw us closer to God than any busy work we could do. Jackie shares.

“You have made known to me the paths of life. You will fill me with joy in Your presence” (Acts 2:28)

Anselm of Canterbury said, “I have known a joy that is full, and more than full.” Oh, how this resonates with me.

A few years ago I felt led to spend time daily in silence once or twice daily for 20 minutes, deliberately soaking in God’s presence. I’ve learned to listen for His guidance. There is a kind of confident knowing that settles over me. It is a confidence in an experiential kind of love that goes beyond comprehension.

C. S. Lewis said “I still think that the prayer without words is best.”

How I’ve come to adore Him even more as a result of this attentive listening. Just to sense His presence is enough and more than enough. As I wait in silence thinking of Him, I experience an immeasurable joy. Oh yes, there are times that I don’t feel this exuberance for some reason, but I have noticed that my time of silence encourages me and lifts me up throughout the day.

I sit in silence not expecting anything except to let Him know I’m deeply in love with Him. At times, my heart could burst for He is my “highest joy.” God is so real and so intimately loves me that nothing else seems to matter.

Often my circumstances haven’t changed, but I have. I am transformed. My struggles with Sjogren’s Disease are always present, but the practice of spending time in His presence so often brings emotional healing.

A paraphrase that I once heard of Psalm 16:5-8 begins my silent prayer as I attempt to quiet my mind:

“The Lord Himself is my inheritance, my prize. He is my food and drink, my highest joy! He guards all that is mine. He sees that I am given pleasant brooks and meadows as my share! I will bless the Lord who counsels me; He gives me wisdom in the night. He tells me what to do.”

Prayer: Precious Lord, fill us with Yourself. Remind us to worship You by resting in Your presence. Thank You that we can experience the wonder of a mutual intimacy. We love You with all of our heart. Amen.

About the author:
Jackie Smith is from Knoxville, TN near the beautiful Smoky Mountains. She struggles with Sjogren’s Disease and migraine headaches. Jackie is grateful to be a 25-year survivor of a bilateral mastectomy. A few years ago she had her colon removed, necessitating an ileostomy. She received her master’s degree in Child and Family Services. While she has never been able to work using her degree, it’s been an asset with her husband, 5 children and 12 grandchildren. Her writing about God’s exuberant love is one of her greatest joys.

Are you appropriating God’s all-encompassing presence by spending time in silence with Him?

This is a song about just listening for God’s voice. It’s about taking a stand by not moving forward until hearing Him tell you to go. “I Will Listen to His Voice” with Twila Paris shares about the dreams we have and how we can become discouraged when they don’t come to pass, feeling a bit lost in it all. But knowing that God will lead us where He wants us to be and trusting Him completely. I hope it blesses you. -Lisa

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