In the secret, in the quiet place. In the stillness you are there …. That song was playing in my mind as I woke up this morning. “In the secret in the quite hour I wait, only for you because I want to know you more.”
Do you have a place where you can be alone with God, just you and him to talk about your day? At one time, it was the front seat of my car, in the parking lot at work. I opened my YouVersion Bible App and there, just before entering the mission field, I read things like Hebrews 4:16 “Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” And 2Corinthians 1:4 “God of all comfort, comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Know God, know comfort, then pass it on.
When I was a young mom with kids around all the time I craved alone time. I had heard the story of Susanna Wesley, John Wesley’s mother, who had 19 children. Imagine her need to be alone! She solved it by throwing her apron up over her face, signaling that it was her time to be alone. That wouldn’t make it for me, but it worked for her. It’s been a long time since that season of my life when days were a circus of activities from sun-up to sundown, but I still remember the secret room. We had this plywood room attached to the side of our aging house that was originally built to cover the well pit. Our freezer was tucked into one corner and the remaining room was shelves constructed out of scrap wood that held jars of home canned food, the result of an acre of garden. In that room there was just enough space to fit an old ragged armchair and lamp. It was the poster child of ugliness but it was my corner of quietness.
My husband looked at it skeptically, but you know? This is one thing guys just don’t understand. I think when God used one of Adam’s ribs to create woman, Adam didn’t grasp the reality that it was a rib, not part of his brain and women think differently than men. Genesis 2:23 “The Man said, “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from Man.” There is no mention of brain in that passage.
Every morning at 5:00 am you could find me in that little room unraveling the complicated and getting centered for the day. In that room is where I made my plans, wrote lists, read scripture, read books, and poured out my heart to the Lord. I learned, just as you have learned, that life is a contact sport and sometimes it can beat us up. That tiny hollow in side of our house was a place to be silent before the uproar of the day began. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God.” We rarely have silence, our ears and eyes are constantly bombarded with noise or images. Quiet solitude is an anomaly. “In the secret, in the quiet place …”
Today, I have a designated place in one small area of my office. It’s where I connect with God and pray for everyone I have promised to pray for – and some who don’t even know are being prayed over. If we every sell our home, the wall will have to be painted to patch over the scars left behind by all the messages taped to it.
We need stillness, time to quiet the clamor of our lives, as much as we need water. When my heart is desperate for quiet, I often turn to Psalms. Don’t you picture David lounging around out in an open field with nothing bothering him but a few nuzzling lambs. That’s the wrong concept, because we know David’s life from the grueling work of a shepherd to the victim of Saul’s vengeance, was anything but carefree and easy. David turned his relentless problems into creative sonnets. He said in Psalm 119:49 “I hang on to our words for dear life! Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.”
The song that was on my mind this morning is by Chris Tomlin. You can listen here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU4U8_wMdRs