(Psalm 46:10) “Be still and know that I am God.”

(Mark 4:39) “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

(Mark 6:31) “because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, ‘come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’.”

(Revelation 8:1) “When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

I have enjoyed a few days away at the annual Ministers’ Conference, especially the moments of silence and stillness and the ‘permission’ to skip the programme and simply rest. I am enjoying the absence of a doorbell and phone. I am successfully managing to ignore most emails and keep my mobile on ‘silent.’ There’s no traffic on the campus either so it’s quiet at night. I am appreciating the stillness and the silence. They are refreshing.

I have appreciated the worship times in the conference too: nothing too strident or triumphant or raucous. I know that’s not to everyone’s taste but I find the gentleness helpful. I found myself reflecting that the most enjoyable worship times for me are usually when the worship leader is sensitive enough to know when to stop playing and to stop singing and just let there be silence.

And the most engaging and impactful speakers for me are those confident enough to know when to stop talking and just let God speak in the silence.

And the most enabling workshop leaders for me are always those who are listening for the Lord and who are brave enough to know when to switch off the tech, to sit down and to share silence with us.

In the silences I can hear God’s heartbeat.

In the silences God’s whispers become clearer.

In the silences I bathe in His love.

May you find time this weekend to come to a quiet place with Jesus, and rest and silence enough to hear His heartbeat.