Quiet….what does that word even mean?
A few months ago, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. To me, quiet would have been escaping to be able to attain it, or waiting for the husband and baby to go to sleep. I longed for quiet, I tried to demand it, and I sought it with selfish motives. I thought having some “quiet” would make me happy, give me peace, but it didn’t. And the rare moments I did get some quiet, I didn’t enjoy them. I was too on edge, too overwhelmed, and too exhausted. In fact, those moments were anything but peaceful. Because:
PEACE, true peace, can only come from JESUS.
It doesn’t come from just escaping to a place of quiet or hiding in your closet with a bag of Reese Pieces (whoops). However, I do believe we have to get quiet before Jesus and come to Him for peace. We have to quiet our souls before Him, remove some of the distractions (no, sorry, that doesn’t include kicking your family out of the house every day; I’ve tried). But the great thing is that right there in the midst of chaos Jesus can bring you peace.
“Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm” (Matthew 8:26b NASB)
But back to quiet. The dictionary defines quiet as:
If you know me at all, you know that “quiet” is NEVER a word I ever thought I would use to describe myself. In fact, I am the complete opposite of some of these. When I read this, it makes me think of the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10: 38-42). I used to get so mad when I would read this because clearly I was a “Martha” and didn’t think it was fair that she had to do all the work that Mary had stuck her with. I mean, come on! If she didn’t do it, then who would after all? Clearly, neither did Martha think this would be fair, because in verse 40 she says to Jesus, “Tell her to help me!” And His response?
“But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;” (Luke 10:41 NASB)
Ouch. I have a sense that even though Martha was physically busy with the preparations, her mind was busy as well. “Distracted” is the word verse 40 uses. I don’t think it really mattered so much as what she was doing while she was busy (even if she did blame it on the “house work”), as much as it mattered that she was not doing the best thing at that moment.
I can just imagine the tender voice of Jesus beckoning her to Himself. “Mary, Mary”, He called. He was trying to get her attention. “You are worried and bothered about so many things.” How many times have I missed the voice of Jesus because I was too busy with distractions, whether they were physical or mental distractions?
“but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)
Necessary. Only one thing was necessary: Jesus. You missed it, Martha, just like I have for so many years. Time and time, month after month, year after year I missed the “one thing necessary”. I didn’t get it. I was worried and bothered, distracted, with so many things. I was unaware of how it was affecting me, of how it was affecting my family, and the others around me. And because I was unaware, I didn’t think this was a problem, so I did not seek help. Even many would speak into my life regarding these actions, my business, how distracted I was throughout the years, I was unaware. I could not hear them. And so the downward spiral continued until I decided I couldn’t take anymore and mentally hit rock bottom.
There, in the darkest point, Jesus spoke into my mess.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 NASB)
The gentle words of my Savior spoke these words to me and I cried. I wept. But I was released from the chains, the yoke that I had given to myself. Jesus knew how much I needed these words and I began to cling to them and claim them as a promise of God.
Rest, freedom from noise, saying little, tranquil, peaceful: these are all words I think of when I read this verse. This is what Jesus is promising to bring: QUIET.
So Monday as I was driving to meet a friend for coffee, as I was trying to come up with the accurate word to describe what I have been feeling the past couple of weeks, the Spirit whispered, “Quiet”.
Quiet. A word I didn’t know if I could ever fully experience now describes me right now. I’m not distracted anymore, and honestly I don’t care that I’m not. I’m not worried and bothered by so many things. Jesus has been helping me simplify my life and remove distractions over the past few months, and I have chosen to be led by the Spirit in this removal. And I feel ALL the ways that quiet is described. Why?
Because HIS yoke is easy.
I made the decision to take on His yoke and lay down my own. He didn’t force it on me, but He did ask me to come. It’s a gift He wanted to give me, but I had to come on my own. I had to choose to take it on. And Jesus was right as He spoke to the disciples that day, just like His words are still true today. HIS yoke is easy.