Written By Callie Opper, USA
For most of my life, I struggled with being still. Being an extrovert made it hard to say no to people. I would push myself to do anything and everything for others, and failed to make time to simply be silent. In college, I surrounded myself with the busyness of life and let it get in the way of my silence before the Lord and a deep intimacy with a Savior that heals, restores and makes everything new.
But God has this painful yet beautiful way of stopping me dead in my tracks when I least expect it, and that’s what He has been doing in my heart over the past six months. Towards the end of my time in college, I hit a wall. I couldn’t give to others as well anymore as my energy was spent. Everything around me seemed to become a hurdle to jump over—ministry, school, and work. I had lost touch with who I was and who God made me to be. When I realized how emotionally and physically drained I had become, God started revealing to me that that it’s not selfish to say no. And that when I don’t give myself breathing room to just sit in His presence, I lose sight of what matters.
I think stillness is a foreign word for many in my generation. We are consumed with being busy—we try to push ourselves past our limits because we fear missing out, or we are immersed in our phones, social media, and everyday distractions. We so often let the chaos of life surround us that we fail to see the value of resting in God’s presence by spending time in prayer and gaining strength and wisdom through His Word.
Sometimes I think we get comfortable in that noise because we’re scared of what God can do through the silence. It’s precisely in the places of stillness that God remakes us, leads us to do things we might not want to do, rewires our hearts and passions, and ultimately changes us. Sometimes that process is painful, so we avoid it all together. But it’s often in those places that we find God.
When I prioritize spending time in His Word, I deepen my understanding of how to live. He reveals Himself to me through the wisdom, encouragement, and strength found in His truth. Through quiet time, He shows me how to live well, love others the way He loves them, and become a true servant. The more time I spend in prayer and saturate myself in His Word, the more the distractions of everyday life seem to fade.
God wants to be the loudest voice we hear. He longs to be with us and for us to meet with Him in the places where we experience Him most fully. He wants us to find contentment in sitting in His presence alone. God longs to comfort and restore the broken pieces of our lives as we rest in Him. God longs for us to depend on Him. God desires His children to listen to Him, to soak up His endless love for them, to rest in His peace, and to seek His radiant glory.
That’s when we can marvel at His glory surrounding us—His strong but gentle Spirit demonstrated in the wind, His beauty and power radically revealed in all of creation, His grace and faithfulness seen through the abundance of His blessings, and His creativity displayed in the canvas of the colors He paints in the sky. When I first started to truly marvel at who God is and His creation, I was reminded that the Creator of the Universe knows my name, sees me, and pursues me intimately. If the God of all of Creation chooses to see and know the most inward parts of my being, then He deserves nothing less than my time and affection.
So, find your place—find where you encounter God most fully. Create that space, savor those silent moments, and regularly meet Him in that place. I found my space of silence in the wilderness. Protect it, schedule that time, and don’t compromise it for anything or anyone. Prioritize those moments so that He can fill you. Let Him show up. Let Him change you.
Every day, God is teaching me that there is beauty in silence—when we let go of the chaos in this world and create the space for Him to show up and fill our hearts with His Spirit. He is not finished with us, He never stops remaking us, He never stops developing our passions, never stops directing us where to go, and will never stop making everything new.
The more I have sat in His presence, studied His Word and sought Him out in prayer, the more He has changed the direction of my life—by taking things from me that I wouldn’t let go of and allowing tragedy and hardships into my world. But the more I wrestled with Him through those things and in those storms, the more I realized that He was rearranging my heart to see Him even more clearly and to teach me that beauty can be birthed out of anything ugly. Through my stillness with God, He continues to define what my purpose is.
The more we depend and rest in the stillness of His presence, the more we see Him and the more we hear from Him.
Be silent, for He will show up.
“The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” (Exodus 14:14)