Lately, I’ve been circling around Joshua 6. The Israelites were at Jericho, one of the very strong and fortified cities that had rooted fear in the hearts of their fathers. Forty years before they had been afraid and it had formed a no in their mouths. They refused to go in to a good land that was the delivery on a promise.
Grace looked like 40 years and a new generation. It was an impossible-seeming thing to fell Jericho. But God had begun their redemption with impossible-seeming acts and He had kept proving that there was no thing impossible for Him. So He felled that city and He did it in a way that could only point to Him. There wasn’t a great army. There wasn’t a stealthy battle plan. There wasn’t even a traditional attack.
God told the Israelites to do this: walk around the city one time a day for six days. They were to follow the priests and the ark of the covenant (the sign of God’s presence). The priests blew horns but the Israelites were to be silent. On the seventh day, they were to walk around seven times. The priests blew horns but the Israelites were to be silent–until the seventh trip around the city. Then? Then they could shout with joy and watch what God would do.
Silence is scarce in my life. My eyes, my ears, my mind: they always have some voice running underneath. Always. I’ve been longing for seven long, good walks around my life full of listening with my words, my eyes, my ears and my heart. That’s where I’ve been. Just listening. Just trying to cast my eyes upon the Lord and His work.
It’s easy for me to get caught up in the urgency of right now. There are things I can say and there’s a place to say them, whether it’s here or in my home or in my community. It’s easier than I’ve ever known to make commentary. It’s also easy to let all of that–my things to say and all the things that are said to me–crowd out God’s voice.
It doesn’t have to look like this. You can listen and speak. You can. And that’s good and sometimes best.
But sometimes It does look like this. And sometimes it’s best for your heart this way. Just to be quiet and listen for Him with everything that is in you. Just to say no to the urgency of right now and notice. Notice things like: the light on your dining room table or how your husband knows how to make you belly laugh right when you are determined that you won’t laugh one bit or how your favorite tree is just about to blaze up in yellow glory. It feels right to let those things rest all over you for awhile before they take the shape of little black, blinking letters on a white screen.
I didn’t think I’d be away from here so long. And I’m not sure I’m back yet either.
I’m just listening.