With more demands on our time and our deepening interest in following tweets, Facebook, and a myriad of other social networking sites, do we have the silence in our lives that is necessary for our walk with God?
The journey begins with trust.
Abraham instructed his servant to leave Canaan, return to Abraham’s homeland and find a wife for Isaac. Abraham was far too old to make the journey himself and trusted in God to make the procurement of a daughter-in-law a successful one. Abraham’s servant, likewise, trusted in this same God. The servant set out to Abraham’s homeland mirroring the same belief that God would be part of the journey and reveal the woman who was to be brought back to Canaan and become Isaac’s wife.
Very early in Scripture we see that a relationship with God has many facets. It involves trust, diligence, faith, and silence. Securing Rebekah as Isaac’s wife, and thus the woman to whom God’s promises would continue to manifest, began with trust.
But what begins with trust, however, must also involve diligence. Indeed, trusting in God turns us into His instrument because we become aware of the greatness of His plan and the need to surrender in such a way so as to become, literally, that mechanism.
We also must see the real knowledge that our time is not God’s time, that even when we understand God’s plan, we ought to be aware of the delicate balance between waiting for it and working towards it. The journey must include silence.
This is where Abraham’s servant reveals to us the critical piece of working with God: silence. The man watched her the whole time, silently waiting to learn whether or not the Lord had made his errand successful (Genesis 24:21). Silence is an act of faith in our earthly journeys. Its timing is an integral component of a successful walk with God.
So it is fitting that a simple sentence in the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Rebekah makes a point of telling of the necessity for silence. A time where discernment can take place and, in this story, where the servant can be made aware of God’s “answer.” .
That time of silence is often where we may find ourselves squirming because we are anxious to hear from Him. We are ready for answers and feel that we’ve been fruitful enough to warrant them. And the idea of silence may make us even more fretful when we begin contemplating that the answer we may hear could be “no.” What are we willing to hear in the silence?
Abraham’s servant, however, was willing to hear just that. We can assume he was exhausted from his journey (just as we may be) and maybe he would have felt a bit broken in spirit if Rebekah was not “the one” and yet, in faith, the servant waited to hear her offer of water. Those would be the telling words that God had said “yes.” The servant wasn’t testing God but earnestly attempting to carry out His will. The servant was showing us that while we set out in trust and then actively participate with diligence, we ought to be mindful of the importance of waiting, in silence, to hear from God. With faith we know that His response to our questions will be right, timely, and true. Jesus, too, sought silence.
Jesus had many demands on His time. People sought Him for healing and counsel. He was busier than any of us could ever imagine. And in the midst of His busy walk on earth, He showed us the need for silence. Christ would separate Himself from the daily tasks of His life as Lord and Savior and seek silence with His Father. We often say that He took on human form to experience life in such a way as to be able to empathetically relate to our own experiences. He became our example for resisting temptation, to live with a humble spirit, and to show how to should serve one another. He, too, became our example of the need for silence. Jesus shows how it is often in this silence that God is able to quell our aching heart and share answers to our prayers.
Cheryl Dickow publishes books for Catholic homes, schools and parishes at www.BezalelBooks.com
. She can be reached at Cheryl@BezalelBooks.com