Over the years, I have come to realize that silence in the presence of God can be one of the highest forms of worship we will ever experience. In our highly energized church culture we can begin to think we always need to make a sound to express our worship of God. Recently, God reaffirmed with me the need for silence in worship.
While on vacation, Jan and I were able to spend a week in a cabin on the edge of Lake Wallowa near the small town of Joseph, Oregon. From our cabin deck we looked out across this idyllic lake up into the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Words like stunning, surreal and beautiful fail to describe what we were able to view each day. The different wind currents and positions of the sun upon the surface of the lake provided a constantly changing tapestry of God-art.
One morning, I went down to the boat dock and sat in the early morning sun. As I tried to pray, the strangest thing took place – I couldn’t. This moment with God required silence if I were to receive what was to come my way. I didn’t give up easily. My religiously devoted side tried to motivate me to make some kind of noise to verify that I was having a private time with God. The request for silence from the Spirit finally won out. I sat there in the warmth of the early morning sun and watched as the canvas of the lake changed once again before my eyes. I was with the Presence and He wanted to be alone with me in the silence, just the two of us sitting together looking over the beauty He had created.
On the shoreline of Wallowa Lake, when I was in visual overload at the beauty of God’s creation, I experienced a profound moment of worship only discovered in the gift of silence that surrounded me. There comes a time when our lives can only be healed and restored when we yield in silence to God’s presence. This experience will become one of our highest acts of worship as we simply wait in silence and receive.