Month 3:10, Week 2:2 (Shanee/Matzah), Year:Day 5936:069AM|
7 Sabbaths + Omer Count Day #2
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 30 May 2012
Are You Happy? IX
Coming Out of the Emotional Dust Storm
Continued from Part 8
I wonder if you're one of those people who find it hard to be silent? For most of us, our minds wander all over the place and unless we are careful we simply create a vacuum in the mind in which all kinds of unwanted fears and spites enter. Yet it is above all in silence that life can begin to acquire some depth.
If you're a C.S.Lewis fan then maybe you have read the famous Screwtape Letters. If you haven't, I highly recommend the book. In it, the author imagines the devil banishing both music and silence from the world and filling it instead with noise:
I was born in the 1950's and one thing I have noticed is just how much noisier the world has become. There is music everywhere, most of it little more than noise to the refined soul and possessing about as much depth as a sheet of paper. Everywhere you go you hear it until you don't notice it anymore. On top of this there is the noise of a never-ending parade of movies and computer games. Our senses are so bombarded in the work place, in the mall and at home that for some silence is an unknown thing and for others shere terror.
"Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end" .
I want to suggest to you that modern man has, for the most part, not only forgotten what silence is but that even if he has heard of it he isn't much interested in finding it. He is so conditioned to absorb noise that to be without it is for him to go through drug-like withdrawl symptoms.
If I were to ask you to define silence for me, I doubt you would have much problem doing so. It is the absence of sound or noise. But this is by no means a bad thing. Think what music would be like if we took all the silent bits between the notes. Think about speech too. The silence between words and sentences is what makes for speech. Take the silence from music and speech and all you would have is an ugly noise, like lots of different paint colours all jumbled up together. You see, silence is part of the dynamic of life. Without silence there would be no speech or music either.
It is a wise person indeed who understands that silence is an integral part of the tavnith (pattern) of life. All sound and no silence, or all silence and no sound would indeed be terrible, but together they make something quite wonderful when they follow basic rules of harmony and grammar. "Be still (quiet, silent), and know that I am Elohim (God)" (Ps.46:10, NKJV), Yahweh said to King David. To the raging storm around the little boat full of talmidim (disples) on the Sea of Galilee Yah'shua (Jesus) said: "Shalom (peace), be still!" (Mark 4:39, NKJV). To Israel Yahweh said: "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength" (Isa.30:15, NKJV). To David concerning his son Solomon Yahweh promised: "I will give shalom (peace) and quietness to Israel in his days" (1 Chron.22:9, NKJV).
Please notice that shalom (peace) and quietness go hand-in-hand. Thus Yahweh said through the prophet Isaiah:
And Solomon himself taught:
"The work of righteousness will be shalom (peace), and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever" (Isa.32:17, NKJV).
In other words, a moment of quietness, stillness or silence is far better than being so busy toiling for goodness-knows-what without knowing what you are really doing or why. The lev (heart) by fallen nature is restless. It does not know how to sit still. And the lev (heart) that does not sit still cannot gain access to that "secret place of El Elyon (the Most High)" we spoke of yesterday. The lev (heart), like a herd of cattle on a dry plain, continuously raises up a cloud of dust in the form of agitation. We are full of worries and resentments and instead of there being inner calm, we are seething.
"Better a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind" (Eccl.4:6, NKJV).
How do we find El Elyon (the Most High) in this emotional dust storm? Yahweh tells us: "Shalom (peace), be still!". And if He so commands us, it can, and should, be done. How? In the same way that Peter walked on the raging water - by emunah (faith) - by trusting. Yahweh also leaves some instructions:
Most of the dust storms of the lev (heart), that render us blind, are caused by unreleased anger. Yahweh says: release the anger but do not sin! In other words, release it to Him, don't take it out on someone else and sin, for the anger that leads to hatred is likened to the spirit of murder. Then, He says, once you have cleared out that storm, meditate deep within your lev (heart) and be still. Yahweh also says:
"Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your lev (heart) on your bed, and be still" (Ps.4:4, NKJV).
The Indian playright and poet Tagore put it this way:
"Rest in Yahweh, and wait patiently for Him" (Ps.37:7, NKJV).
The story of Yah'shua (Jesus) stilling the storm was taught not only to demonstrate Yah'shua's (Jesus') power over nature as Elohim (God) but was also a parable about finding that repose in the soul that allows us to find the secret place within so that we can commune with Yahweh.
"Sit still, my heart, do not raise your dust.
Let the world find its way to you" 
If you have never read the revelation Yahweh gave to me about this, then I invite you to now read, Stilling the Storm.
When Mark recounted the event, the believers in Rome were experiencing terrible persecution, just as believers are today and will especially experience during the Great Tribulation of the short but violent reign of Antimessiah (Antichrist) before Yah'shua (Jesus) returns. We, who are trusting in Messiah and have been regenerated or reborn through repentance and emunah (faith), are in that small boat of salvation buffetted by the turbulent storms of the world. What was Yahweh doing about it? Yah'shua (Jesus) seemed to be asleep. But no, says this reassuring story:
We are asked to simply have emunah (faith) in Yahweh and Yah'shua (Jesus) will calm the forces that batter us. "Shalom (peace), be still!", almost the same words He would later speak three times to His talmidim (disciples) after His resurrection, the same words He speaks before the dust storms of our levim (hearts) right now.
"Yahweh reigns; let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; let the earth be moved!" (Ps.99:1, NKJV).
You see, the purpose of silence is to lead us into stillness, and the purpose of stillness is to help us to become more aware of Elohim (God). "Be still, and know that I am Elohim (God)". Be still, and understand that I am in control. Your'e safe in the boat of salvation.
I will speak more of this tomorrow. Be still!
Continued in Part 10
 C.S.Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (Fount, London: 1977), p.114
 Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds, CXC, in Collected Poems and Plays (MacMillan, London: 1958), p.311