For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psalm 62:1-2
My hands pressed down on the side of the bed as I folded myself onto my knees. I lowered my face to my hands and started to pray, “Dear Heavenly Father…” I stopped. I had nothing else to say. The words were missing. Instead of offering empty words of rote religion, I stopped. A heavy sigh expanded in my chest and blew past my lips pulling with it the words, “I got nothing. I’m empty.” My head dropped and I pressed my cheek into the pinstriped covered mattress.
I laid there--silent before the Lord. Not a word was spoken.
A few years ago I started getting up early in order to spend time with the Lord before going to work. Teaching was taxing and a few minutes in prayer before I entered the chaos of high school helped me to align myself to God’s mission for the day and to set aside my stress, anxiety, and frustration.
My usual morning prayers brought a litany of “help me, guide me, show me or teach me” requests. But on the morning of my silence, I had no words. My heart was heavy, but I didn’t know what to say. Trusting the Holy Spirit would intercede for me (Romans 8:26-27), I laid my head down in the lap of my Lord like a child seeking comfort from a parent. I sat in silence with my best friend and greatest advocate.
Part of my journey into a more authentic faith has involved developing honesty in my prayers. What began as conversations with God while running in college, has grown into an ongoing daily dialogue with the Lord (I have expressed some pretty rotten things and said some not so nice words). Through it all, I am learning talk to God as if He is my closest friend. And, just like with a best friend, some conversations call for silence.
In Psalm 62:1-2, David expresses a moment of surrendered silence before God, a moment of saying “I got nothing. I am empty.” In other words, David had fully surrendered his place of struggle to the Lord. If you look closely, David is not asking for anything (no help me), he is not afraid (no protect me), and he is not desperate (no save me). He has taken a posture of reliance and total dependence (I trust you).
David was focused on God alone. He had reached a point in his relationship with the Lord where he could claim that all he needed was God.
What about us? What about you?
Have you been in a season of struggle? Heartbreak or hardship? Have you said all the things you need to say and now are speechless before the Lord? Has your mind run out of scenarios of ways to solve your problems? Have you reached that moment of “I got nothing” “I’m empty”?
Friend, that’s exactly where God wants you and me. It’s in these moments I believe God is calling us into a deeper walk with Him. It’s when we are at the true end of ourselves that we fully trust Him.
Maybe God is calling you to a quiet conversation today. Maybe He is beckoning you to lay your head in his lap allowing his comforting hand to stroke your hair like a parent with an anxious child. Maybe your heart is so tangled you don’t have the words to sort it all out. That’s okay. Sit there. Let the Holy Spirit untangle it for you. Just go. Meet with Him.
Sweet friends, God doesn’t need our words. You see, He already knows our hearts. He just wants us to bring it all to Him and trust Him to take care of us-- with or without words.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.