praying the Psalms: silence and adoration
I took a few days this past week to be silent. Not like some holy retreat or solitude/meditation thing. No, I just shut up. I called it selah because doesn’t that sound prettier and more attractive than shut up, you’re whining?
I’d felt like my adoration wasn’t “working” because I wasn’t having some positive emotional result.
Right. That is exactly what it sounded like.
I’m adoring the Lord and I didn’t get anything out of it. My anxiety increased, my frustration leveled out into one long “harrumph!” and my weaknesses felt like they were tattooed to my face and/or advertised on the front page. I felt like a supreme loser. As if this adoration were about me - oh my lands.
I have spent so much time learning and practicing and re-learning that obedience is not about results. It’s not about getting what I want. It’s not about me at all. But here I sat: disgruntled and grumpy because adoring Jesus wasn’t making me feel better.
Currently I am in love with Andrew Peterson’s new album, The Burning Edge of Dawn. Every single song is like my heart is getting hugged. I adore this album. One of the songs is basically everything about this current season of adoring in silence: The Rain Keeps Falling.
I’m scared if I open myself to be known, I’ll be seen and despised and be left all alone. So I’m stuck in this tomb and You won’t move the stone. And the rain keeps falling down.
…I can’t believe there’s an end to this season of night and the rain keeps falling down.
I was absolutely reveling in the melancholy tune upon the first hearing, the empathy of someone who has clearly walked through a similar season of silence…then all of sudden the song was punctuated by a sweet, ethereal female voice:
Peace. Be still.
Peace. Be still.
Over and over. The confessions – clear and straightforward, punctuated by the godly response – be still.
These are the things, God: I feel weak and tired and sick of myself and like every confession of weakness makes me a little less bearable. I feel the intense exhaustion of the specific burdens You’ve given me and yet I wonder how many of these burdens are really from You? I am making so much noise inside....quiet me...
* * *
Sometimes in the adoration, our Father is silent.
I would suggest that perhaps He is doing a hard and difficult work for us in these days. And as we have established, adoration does not always come with a prize for us. Adoration is about Yahweh – about giving glory and refusing to boast in ourselves. I am not always good at this. But it is still right for me to adore.
If the Father is being silent, perhaps I should take my cue and quiet all the inner noise. Do the hard things, do the loving things and kind things that bring Him glory. Maybe if I can discipline myself to let my only noise be praise and adoration, I might see His face more clearly. Hold His silence more nearly.
His love for me is so totally enough. I know I do not need to be afraid. But I am and so I think I will shhhhh and allow Him to till the soil and sow the seeds. I’ll wait for awhile and I know it will rain and there will be plowing and pruning. But if I am quiet and I am adoring, perhaps He’ll give me a sweet gift and let me see some of what He is doing.
And if not, I will still praise Him.