The Still Small Voice

The Art of Reflection - Turning Sight into Insight

 Chapter Five, Part One

 

 

. . .He had hardly left the hospital
before the Lord caught up with him:

‘You too have been too active for Me,
and have not taken enough time to be occupied with Me.’

 

 

The Art of Reflection

Think about what I am saying. The Lord will give you understanding in all these things.
(2 Timothy 2:7)

It is no fun having your deranged ‘employer’ throwing spears at you! On the run from King Saul, David lost the plot and joined forces with the Philistines. The time came when he was called upon to fight against his fellow Israelites. It was at this crucial moment that the commander of the Philistine army intervened, questioning his loyalty and sending him away.

It is a supreme example of the Lord’s overruling. While he was away, David’s home town was overrun by raiders. His wives and children were taken away – and, as if that were not enough, his own men were so desperate that they were speaking of stoning him.

At this terrible moment, when fear and despair could so easily have shut out the Still Small Voice, David ‘found strength in the Lord.’[1] No phrase better conveys the depths of his relationship with the Lord. Here is a man so used to quieting his soul that he is able to discern God’s strategy, even under such intense pressure.

My mind goes back to a man on a Pacific island, who heard the Lord telling him to cross the island and leave. He arrived at the port just in time to catch the last steamer out before the Japanese invaded the island.

Or the Christians in a town in Denmark during the Second World War who were warned through a prophecy to be out of town on a certain day. It turned out to be the very day the Gestapo raided the town. There is nothing theoretical about cultivating the art of reflection.

The Daily Review

Dr Pierson once visited a minister who had been in hospital for six long months. The doctor ventured to suggest that God might have permitted this illness as the only means by which He could cause this busy man to listen more to Him. He had hardly left the hospital before the Lord caught up with him: ‘You too have been too active for Me, and have not taken enough time to be occupied with Me.’

This experience made such an impression on Dr Pierson that he later wrote:
I resolved to practice what I preached. At the close of each day, I sit for one hour in the quiet of my study, not to speak to the Lord, but to lay the day’s life and work open to the Lord’s penetrating gaze and appraisal, and to listen to what He has to say to me.[2]

Even if we cannot devote anything like a whole hour to it, the great benefit of attempting such a review is that it gives us a second chance to ponder the events of the day, and to pick up on the nudges that the Lord has sent out way.

We can ‘replay’ them, as if we were watching them pass before our eyes on a video.

Then, as opportunities we have missed, or unkind words that we have uttered come to mind, we can ‘press the pause button’ and attend to the issues the Lord is highlighting.

As we make time to reflect, words that people have spoken return to our memory. Words of encouragement that confirm we are on the right path; or words of warning that save us from error – half-warnings even, that we might have missed had we been too engrossed in our own affairs.

Many people find keeping a journal aids this process of reflection. Rather than recording just the outward events, it will prove richer if we can include fuller details of how we believe the Lord is leading us. Such reflection enables us to trace patterns and to discern links where before we might have seen only isolated events.

References

1 1 Samuel 29:4, 30:6
2 Dr Pierson was the son-in-law of George Mueller who founded the Bristol orphanages. Mueller’s extraordinary faith inspired generations of Christians to trust the promises in God’s Word more fully.

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