Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.” (HCSB)
When our son was about two and a half, my husband and I decided to take a family vacation to Florida. We talked it over and came up with the perfect plan — we would begin our journey at our son’s bedtime. Being a small child plus riding in the car plus being sleepy was certain to equal a quiet trip to Florida, and because it would be so quiet in the car, I planned to nap while my husband drove and be fresh to drive while he napped later on. It was a well thought out plan, a wonderful plan, a perfect plan ….. on paper! We failed to account for the excitement of a two and a half year old little boy! From the time we buckled him into his car seat in Roanoke, Virginia until we unbuckled him in Orlando, Florida, he talked. He talked about everything. He talked about nothing. He talked to fill the silence. He talked the entire trip. Those were the days before in car movies, so it was up to mom to come up with games
“Let’s play the Quiet Game”
“Okay, I lose”
“Let’s look at the road signs and find the letters to spell your name”
“I don’t see any signs or letters”
Quite honestly, I think my husband and I were willing to do most anything if he would just be quiet. We were beyond the wanting quiet for all night. We were beyond wanting quiet for hours. We were praying for quiet minutes, maybe even seconds! I was telling that now funny story to my friend over coffee, when it occurred to me that the way my husband and I felt that night must be how God feels when we chatter and prattle on in our prayers. We talk about everything. We talk about nothing. We talk just to fill the silence. We talk our entire prayer time. We try to play the Quiet Game but our actions say “okay, I lose” because being quiet is too difficult. Is there any surprise that God says “be still” (Psalm 46:10)? What about when He says, “just be quiet”? We may even admit that it’s God’s turn to speak, but we want the burning bush, the booming voice, the angel choir. We ask for a sign but quickly declare, “I don’t see any signs or letters” if the sign is not our name with a neon flashing arrow pointing out the path. We are on a journey in this life, and we know that for God’s children, a wonderful, exciting place is waiting. We have so much to say to God as we travel along, but we need to have times of quiet and rest. God, I know that You don’t need for me to be quiet so that You can rest, but I need to be quiet so that I can rest in You. Help me to keep Exodus 14:14 always in mind.