If you were a kid in church who ever got the giggles, and your mom was telling you to shush, then you know how loud laughter can get during the sermon. The quieter you try to be and the more you try to muffle your laugh, the louder it seems to squeak out. It begins with shaking and quivering from trying to hold it in, but it’s usually egged on by your best friend sitting next to you. It becomes just too much, erupting into that laugh you just can’t contain any longer, much to mom’s dismay.
If Psalm 46 is our stillness to get to know God, then it seems that chapter 47 is the uncontrollable response, the type that couldn’t be contained. This chapter is not a command to stillness and silence. It seems to be a song to a more raucous beat. Thankfully our Heavenly Parent isn’t telling us to shush.
Clap! Shout loud songs of joy! (verse 1)
God has gone up with a shout and a trumpet blast! (verse 5)
Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing! (verse 6)
I must admit that I prefer stillness, the quiet that brings peace and clarity. But that stillness can only sit for so long. And that’s the way God has ordained it to be. The quiet vibrations within me swell, growing, searching for a way to escape, a way to announce to the world that, indeed, the Lord God is near, all around us.
Stillness without subsequent praise is incomplete; it is an inhale without an exhale. Stillness in God’s presence is like playing “the silent game” with my kids – it makes ’em want to talk and move all-the-more.
Lord, I come to you in the silence of prayer. Serenity marks our time together thus far. But what begins in silence this morning is something that I hope balloons and billows like an airbag at the point of impact. May my time today be one where I get to sit by the type friends who egg-on loud joy and praise for you.