In the Quiet -Psalm 37:7-9 (MSG)
7 Quiet down before God,
be prayerful before him.
Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder,
who elbow their way to the top.
Mid November 9 years ago I was serving at a church in Watertown NY. There were some things happening in my job there that were stressful and challenging. I found myself stewing on the problems. I was stressed to the max. I couldn’t sleep. If I’m honest, I was a mess. My boss (Pastor Bruce) encouraged me to take an extra day off one week and go to a place where it’s quiet. The weather that November had been very mild so I decided I would head up the the High Peaks in the Adirondacks and try to do a solo of climb Mount Marcy.
I woke up at 4 AM one morning and made the long drive from Watertown to the Mount Marcy trail head at the ADK Lodge. I was hiking the trail by 8 AM and there weren’t many people there. My goal was to summit Mount Marcy and while I was going after it with tenacity I probably should have stopped to plan a little bit more. I had brought my crampons (spikes you wear on your boots) but foolishly decided to leave them in the car because they were too heavy and it didn’t seem like I was going to need them. It was relatively easy hiking for the first 6 miles. As I began to get into the higher elevations the trail became more icy and because I had left my crampons in the car I quickly realized that my goal of making the summit was not going to happen. Something funny happened with I resigned myself to turn around and give up the goal. Almost immediately as I began hiking down I felt the nearness of God. I’m fairly confident that He was there the whole time but I was too focused on the goal of making the summit of Mount Marcy. However, that day God had another goal; to meet me in the quiet. I sat down to rest at Marcy Dam and as the wind blew through the trees I felt Jesus begin to melt the stress of my problems away. I didn’t pray anything. I didn’t make any plans. I just sat there in the quiet and let the Holy Spirit minister to me. I had forgotten that the ultimate goal was not to summit a mountain at any cost. Rather, it was to get to a quiet place to be with God, and that’s exactly what happened that November on the Mount Marcy trail.
I don’t know what’s going on in your life this week and I don’t know what mountain you are climbing. You may be faced with stresses that are overwhelming. You may be wrestling with decisions, working through conflict or struggling to make financial ends meet. One thing that you can count on is that God is near and He wants to meet you in the quiet. Take a listen to this song I wrote a little while back and let it set the stage for a week of listening.
In the Quiet
Joshua Eiler, 2011
It’s in the quiet — The deeper dreams are found
In the silence — My courage does resound
It’s in the quiet — God has captured my heart
And in an instant — My fear is ripped apart
Right here in the quiet
It’s in the quiet — I found that I could live
And rediscover — The power to forgive
It’s in the quiet — That I have met a peace
Beyond comprehension — Where worry is released
Right here in the quiet
It’s in the quiet — That I found my heart
Bright and burning — Ripping doubt apart
It’s in quiet — That I heard Him speak
There in His presence — His compassion was released