Jesus made this declarative statement about his Father, our God:
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Mathew 5:45
QUIET, it seems to me, is like rain and like sunshine. Is the sun good? Or bad? How about rain? Is rain good or bad? I think we can all think of times when both sun and rain can be a great blessing or a terrible curse. Either one can wreak havoc or be a critical life saver. QUIET too can be either/or.
"Getting away from it all" is often an important goal. People sometimes need a break from the business and turmoil of life; from the hubbub and racket of machines and traffic and, yes, people. So a nice quiet place with maybe only a bubbling brook and a little breeze in the trees offers the perfect background music for relaxation and recovery.
But then again, getting closed in alone in a muffled elevator with nothing to hear but the berating thoughts of a guilty conscience can be torturous. Or worse, lying in bed in a dead QUIET house, wide awake and only wishing for some distracting noise or even a mild uproar to stifle the drama going on in your head. (I wonder if studies would show that deaf people tend to keep short accounts with their friends, being sure to quell the voices of guilt and bitterness and jealousy that the rest of us can more readily counter with NOISE.)
In HELL, I suspect, the only QUIET times are of the bad kind. Absolute silence of an unknown duration that does nothing good, but only fosters those haranguing indictments that can not be denied. Not a stillness that lets one "rest in peace" (there will be NONE of that in HELL!) or a quiescent purposeful dormancy, but a bare boned exposure and amplification of every thought.
Out of respect for our standing as independent creatures, made in his image, God only speaks to us in hushed, beseeching tones, and hopes we will listen. He tells us of himself through the magnificence of the material world he created, and waits for the one logical response. He answers our deepest questions in the QUIET form of a book, and only invites us to read about his ways.
One day such quality QUIET times will be unavailable. After a terrible windstorm, an earthquake, and a raging fire, God finally got through to Elijah in a gentle whisper. We should keep our ears perked up for that small QUIET voice of God, for he wants to save us from the forever badgering voices of guilt and shame that will plague those in HELL forever.
For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2
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