"I know I can talk to Him, but He doesn't talk back like you do."
My heart broke as I read those words. As I futily (my new word) tried to explain that we must get quiet, really quiet, down inside ourselves before we can hear God, the question came to mind: Why does God speak with a quiet voice? He created the sun and the moon, every blade of grass and every loud bird that wakes me up too early in the mornings. He made waves crashing on rocks as loud as the thunder in a storm, and yet His voice is often said to be still and small. Why?
Have you ever been to a concert? Weird question, I know, just go with me. Or at a big show with lots of people and microphones? I imagine that's how we want God to speak to us: with a microphone: Hey you! Over there. Yeah you, how about you go to this section over here to help this person out? That would be helpful, I'm sure, but here's the thing about that: we've never met that person with the microphone. There's no relationship with that person. There's no hey friend, how's it going? And that is what God wants. He wants to be our friend. He is trying to be our friend. And friends talk to each other in hushed tones, intimately, even in quiet rooms or when no one is around, friends talk quietly with one another. Friends don't say hey you or need a microphone to holler at us, they know where we live, they come over, sit on the couch, have supper and enjoy our company.
Here's the thing though, we have to be quiet to hear our friends talk, and we have to be even quieter to hear God. Why? Because He's not actually, physically sitting in front of us. If you've accepted Christ as the Lord (leader, guider) of your life, He is inside you. Which means your insides have to be quiet to hear His voice over them.
Let's get back to the concert: Think about when the music is going--LOUD--and you have a thought it's funny! You want to share it with your friend, but no matter how loudly you scream, your friend can't hear you over the music. I think that's how God feels sometimes. He's trying to talk to us with His still, small voice, but our worries and doubts and fears, our responsibilities and to-dos and how comes are all filling up all the sounds in our head and our insides and we just aren't quiet enough to hear His quiet voice.
It takes practice getting that quiet, it won't happen the first time, or the second time most likely. It may even take a few dozen times of laying your junk, your honesty, your discontentment at His feet and sitting quietly, before you're actually quiet enough to hear His voice. But when you do, you know it. And there's something in you, something so intangible, that now knows how to get back to that place where you can hear Him. It's beautiful. It's wonderful. It's joyous!
That, my friends, is what I want for you. I want you to experience what it takes to get quiet enough inside yourself to hear His voice. To know what He is saying to you. But He wants to be close, He wants to be your friend. He doesn't want to yell like a stranger with a microphone, He wants to whisper to His beloved: this, my love, this is what I have for you today.
I challenge you, if you have not experienced that, to start today. Go somewhere, and sit quietly. Share what you're struggling with, what you can't let go of, what you don't want to let go of. Share your doubts and fears and loves and desires. Then stop. And just sit there. Try not to think. Try to quiet any thought that arises. Try it for 15 or 30 minutes. Then do it again tomorrow and trust that when you are quiet enough inside yourself to hear Him, He will already be speaking to you.