Sometimes I just need to shut up and listen. Perhaps that’s a little blunt, but it’s true for me… and probably many of us. I am somewhat of an external processer and so writing or speaking are helpful for me to process life and different situations. Still, there are times when I’d be much better off listening to the people around me and gaining their insights before opening my mouth.
This seems especially true in my relationship with God. Ecclesiastes 5:2 challenges me in this area as well:
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
Sometimes I read this verse and wonder how it jives with other verses that talk about “pouring out” our hearts to God, or praying continually. Those wouldn’t imply “few words”. I don’t think that’s what this verse is talking about; no, it’s tackling the very problem I described above… times when I just need to be quiet and remember that GOD is GOD and I am not. He’s up in heaven; He knows and can see ALL. I am just one tiny human being here on earth. If I can keep this in mind, the words that come out of my mouth are much more honoring to God.
This reminds me of something a friend was sharing with me recently about a book she read called “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller. In it Miller describes both the fact that God is a personal God as well as a powerful, almighty God. God is so much more than those two things, but when we can keep BOTH of them in view, we approach God in prayer in the best way. We remember that He cares about us in a personal way and wants to know every detail of our lives. He longs to be intimately involved with us. At the same time, he is GOD! He is powerful. He is One to respect with awe and reverence. He’s not just my genie to make things happen the way I would like them. He’s not my servant. No, He’s almighty and personal all at the same time. Sometimes, yes, He just longs for me to pour out my heart, every little detail. But I also need moments where I stand in stunned silence at the God of the universe, capture in awe, speechless.
Lord, You ARE God in heaven, and I am just a mere human here on earth. Let my words be few as my heart finds awe in your power and majesty. Quiet my lips when I need to be still and listen. Open my ears to what you would have me hear. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and My Redeemer! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!