The Wisdom of Quietness

Michael Beck

“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:16-19)

Truly, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Eccles. 3:7) There are situations which demand communication. God directs us to speak. It would be unwise, even sinful, to remain silent. But then there are other times when silence is called for. We dare not speak to men out of the abundance in our heart. Too much remains raw and unresolved; we have no clarity; we must wait on the Lord in the darkness that envelops us.

Intimacy with God is both proven and strengthened when we bring our heart to Him first, before we show any other what we are thinking or feeling. No human being, no matter how wise or sympathetic, is equipped to be all we need to process the events in our life. God must be our Refuge. Before Him we must pour out our hearts. (Psalm 62:8)

Job’s friends bitterly disappointed him with their counsel. They only added to his confusion and pain. He wanted an audience with God, but he unwisely opened his mouth before man. In frustration he cried out: “But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.” (Job 13:4)

There are events in our life that astound and perplex us. Mary was wise to “keep” all these things in her heart, pondering them before her God. In due time, He unfolded to her what was happening around her. He brought light to her darkness.

Don’t be in a rush to solve every mystery in your life. Years might have to transpire before answers come. Don’t expect others to have answers for you before the time is right for you to know. Job found out how unwise it is to invite others into your confusion. Mary wisely and patiently let God unfold all things in His own time. When we have entrusted all things into His hands, we can fall asleep in the dark, knowing a crystal clear morning is on the horizon, when we shall know even as we are known.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.