In our day of schedules, pressures, meetings and activity, there is something occurring all around us that we do not even take notice of, and yet the magnitude of it is so great. With the advent of Spring, nature is quietly putting forth a surge of life and beauty, the magnitude of which is incomprehensible. Beyond the beauty and splendor of the leaves, grass, flowers, …new life in plants all around (not to mention the animal kingdom), there is a pervading truth and eternal lesson revealed: it is all done so in quietness. When have we ever heard a plant straining to put forth leaves or fruit? When have we ever heard the grass of the field, and all the flora, aquatic and terrestrial, cry out when growing in the field, or on the mountainside? In Psalm 19, the psalmist writes: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.” (v.1) How quiet is a sunrise, and the beginning of the day? If anything, the quietness is heralded by the sweet and swelling chorus of songbirds announcing a new beginning. So, what is the specific “glory” which is revealed to us in this picture? Let me ask one more question. In the temple, or the tabernacle of old, was there any noise in the “Holy of Holies?” Note that when Samuel was a boy, sleeping in the temple, in the quietness, that the Lord spoke clearly to him. What is this lesson that nature, and Samuel’s example would teach us? It is that God is a God of peace, and He works wonderfully in the quietness of the heart.
In Isaiah 30:15, we read a remarkable declaration of the Lord addressed to Israel: “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” That which He said to Israel is what the Lord Jesus said to the multitudes: “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
“There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.” This God who is our Maker, and Christ who is our Redeemer, is the Author and Essence of quietness, peace. We do not talk of passivity here, but of a disposition of heart and mind, and a trust in Christ alone. It is a trust where we have taken His yoke upon us, and cast ALL of our burden upon Him and left it there, in order to live according to the great truths of our relationship with Him.
And how shall we practically KNOW this quietness, and confidence? We begin always with Christ, and His finished work. We are IN Him, and He IN us. But here, we need to truly BELIEVE God in this matter. The Psalmist wrote, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Ps 91:1) Do we believe this? Do I live in the secret place of His presence? Is HE my quietness and strength? Paul prayed that the Ephesian church would be strengthened by the Spirit to BELIEVE in such a manner that “…Christ may dwell in the heart by faith.” (Eph. 3: 16-17) Let us pray in like manner, and receive.
Quiet, trusting reliance upon the Eternal Vine for all things is a great key to living this life to which we are called. And the fruit born out of such a life will last forever, for it is the fruit of His eternal life. “In quietness and confidence is your strength.”