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Job. Silent for 7 days amidst his suffering.

Ezekiel. Silent for 7 days as evidence that he had encountered a unique experience with God.

Ruth. Sat still and waited for how it would all turn out.

Elijah. Escaped from Jezebel into a cave and into the silence where he met God.

Jesus. Withdrew and found silence to be with God.

Samuel. In the silence, surrendered, and God spoke.

The plane had just landed in Queenstown, New Zealand. With my backpack and a passport I stepped onto the tarmac...ready to trek into an unknown land for close to a month, by myself. I was terrified and elated all in one. I didn't know what would await me in such a magical land, but I couldn't wait to start my journey. What I found was silence and it was the beginning of a new heart. I didn't have friends, I didn't have phones, I didn't have anything but the hostels, cabins in the woods I would find and sleep in during 2 day hikes, the sheep blocking the roads, the glaciers cracking under the fall leaves, the volcanoes a few meters away, the 17 km hikes by myself, the kayaking, the bus trips alone. And those places are where God met me...on the roads, on the paths, in the water, in the gardens...He met me in a place when loneliness was gripping my soul and silence was my only friend. He met me there as I started to rebuild the person that I had always hoped to be but could never quite grasp.

A radical change started when I placed myself before God without interference or noise, so that I could meet God, know God, listen to God and then speak from the wisdom and love that I learned from God. Then and only then was I able to strive to become a person who spoke deeply meaningful words of hope, encouragement, truth, conviction, grace and love.

If God sometimes feels distant, maybe it is because we aren't really listening. We need to stop. We need to get alone. We desperately need to find silence. Because in the silence is when we hear God the loudest.

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14


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