“Do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day, and on the morrow how much clearer are thy purpose and duties,” wrote Thomas Carlyle. The psalmist wrote (in Psalm 46) of great cataclysms, noise, war, destruction. What is the man of God supposed to do in the middle of all that? One thing above all else: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10 AV). Simply shut up for a change. It is amazing what the quiet holding of the soul before the Lord will do to the external and seemingly uncontrollable tumult around us. It is in that stillness that the Voice will be heard, the only voice in all the universe that speaks peace to the deepest part of us.
No other voice than Thine has ever spoken,
O Lord, to me–
No other words but Thine the stillness broken
Of life’s lone sea.
There openeth the spirit’s silent chamber
No other hand–
No other lips can speak the language tender,
Speech of the Fatherland.
– (T.S.M., from Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others, Frances Bevan)