“People don’t always need advice. Sometimes all they really need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.” ~ Unknown
When you think about it, it seems as if human nature is hard-wired to always be doing something. We do not like to be passive. We want to be active. We are fixers of things. We are manipulators of our environment. We are active in our daily routines. Bottom line: we do not like to sit around and do nothing.
Yet, that is exactly what is called for from time to time. When a friend comes to us in need, it might not be in order for us to do anything, to say anything, or to fix anything. It might simply be that they need someone who will listen to them and someone who will be with them. People who begin in ministries often find this the hardest thing to do. What do you do when you walk into a hospice room? There is no way you are going to “fix” the person who is dying. There is no way you can fix the family members or friends who might be assembled there. All you can really do is pray with them and spend some quiet time with them.
The quiet time can be really uncomfortable for someone beginning in ministry. But, it is in that quiet time that God has a chance to work. Ministers speak volumes by saying nothing. Ministers provide plenty by doing nothing more than sitting there or standing there with another. When a person allows himself or herself to be a vessel used by God, God will, indeed, use that person and those in need will be able to receive blessings from God.
Quiet time is not only uncomfortable for people in ministry, quiet time is also uncomfortable for many when it comes to prayer. The worst thing in the world for some people is to sit in silence. They think that they always have to be engaged and they carry that over into their prayer lives as well. They are comfortable rattling prayer after prayer to the Lord. They are comfortable reading from their Bibles or other spiritual reading. They are comfortable singing hymns as a way of praying. But, silence? Oh no. Anything but that.
When we can develop a quiet attitude in our prayer life, we will be able to adopt that quiet attitude with others. If we can learn the value of silence, we can end up speaking volumes to those who truly need, not our words, but simply our presence.
FAITH ACTION: Practice listening to others today with little butting in with your own words. When you pray today, do it in silence and give God a chance to speak.