But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him. ~ Habakkuk 2:20
“Keep silence” is a hard phrase because it means that I must stop. I must pull to a halt all that I am juggling and pushing and speaking. And I am often uninclined to do so, knowing all the inner work I’ve put off will then bubble to the surface. When I come into the presence of a holy God, there is nowhere to hide the blemishes, wounds and sin of my soul. And yet it is this very juxtaposition – the beauty and perfection of His face and my own unworthiness – that I meet the balm of His love. Here my heart is both realigned and restored.
All that I bring He exchanges for His mercy and discipline: my hurt, complaints, requests, the burdens of my heart. Here He reminds me of Himself. The seeming importance of my own troubles somehow fade in the light of His glory. He reminds me that He knows all, that He sees all, that He holds all.
In turn, I realize my own great need of being still and silent before the Lord. Here in His presence, I am anchored to a truth that is unshakeable by circumstance, feelings, and all the devil can throw against me. Yes, I come on Sundays to worship this holy God – strengthened and strengthening my brothers and sisters – but I must also choose by myself to come into His presence each day, for He is always what I need. And afterward, I will find my heart and my hands are strengthened for the tasks that He has given me.