In the olden days, before refrigerators, people used what were called ice houses to preserve their food. Ice houses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In the winter, when streams and lakes were frozen over, large blocks of ice were cut out and transported to the ice houses where they were covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.
The story is told of a man who lost a valuable watch while working in an ice house. He searched long and hard for it, but could not find it. His fellow workers helped him carefully dig through the wet saw dust looking for the watch, but to no avail. Later that day, however, a small boy, who had heard about the lost watch, slipped into the ice house while everyone else was out to lunch. A few minutes later he emerged with the watch.
Amazed, the men asked him how he found it. “I closed the door,” the boy replied, “laid down in the sawdust, and kept very quiet. Soon I heard the watch ticking.”
We live in a stereo surround sound world. Noise is everywhere. In fact, scientists hypothesize that if time travel were possible, one of the things that would shock us the most about the past would be the silence. They say that if you could travel back in time a thousand years, the silence would be almost deafening. Think about it: a world without cell phones, TV’s, radios, airplanes, cars, refrigerators. All that noise which surrounds us – gone.
But with all that noise, it’s hard to hear. It’s hard to hear God’s voice speaking to us. God usually doesn’t yell. He doesn’t usually communicate in thunder bolts or burning bushes.
God speaks to us in the gentle whisper of his Word. He speaks to us as we sit quietly in church hearing his Word read to us. He whispers into our ears as we sit quietly in our homes reading our Bibles.
Often the question is not whether God is speaking to us, but whether we take the time to sit quietly and listen. So turn off the TV. Silence your iPhone. Put your child’s DS away. Sit together as a family listening to God speak to you through his Word.
Through the gentle whisper of his Word God will convict you and comfort you. Through the gentle whisper of his Word he will teach you and guide you and give you hope.
Don’t wait for God to yell. Don’t expect him to speak to you in thunder or in dreams or with visions of angels. God is speaking to you right now. Can you hear him? Turn down the volume. Open up your Bible and hear him speak.