Principle: “When you have nothing to say, say everything.”
The parsonage in which we lived was, like most, right next to the church. I had a standing rule that when our boys came home from school they could, if I was in my study at the church, stop in and say “Hi.” They often did. Many times it was brief, and they had little to say – except “Hi.” I’m not sure what it meant to them, but I know what it meant to me. They didn’t always need to say much – their presence enriched me and deepened my love for them.
That’s why I think I can at least begin to understand why Jesus likes for us to take the time to be with Him. It took me way too long to figure out that I don’t always have to say much to Him. Sometimes just taking the time to be with him, to say ‘Hi’ is enough. I realize now that I have spent needless hours berating myself. In trying to establish a discipline of regular times to ‘pray’, I would grow frustrated because I felt my prayers were either getting repetitious or empty and that the time was therefore becoming more a duty than a delight. I now realize that it’s not about me, it’s about Jesus. He cherishes my presence and my ‘Hi.’ It enriches Him and deepens His love for me. So it’s okay to say nothing. “When you have nothing to say, say everything.” My boys said everything when they took the time to to check in; and I say everything to Jesus when I take the time to check in.
Perhaps this is what the Psalmist was saying when he wrote, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” (Ps. 84:10) He had come to realize that just being in God’s presence was sometimes enough. In fact, what could be greater than that? Certainly there were times the Psalmist had plenty to say to God; but there were times when silence was the order of the day – and that was okay. There were times my boys had plenty to say – and oftentimes questions to ask; but there were times when silence said it all. “When you have nothing to say, say everything.”
I am thinking of all the wonderful moments of love I would have missed if my sons had only come in when they had something they wanted to say or ask. In fact, I realize now that without the moments of the simple “Hi”, I might well have begun to feel like I was needed and wanted only when they needed something or someone to talk to. But because they did come in when they had nothing to say , they said it all. “I love you.” And that meant the world to me and deepened my love for them. “When you have nothing to say, say everything.”
So I am working on being okay with spending moments with Jesus when I have little, if anything, to say. (And believe me – it’s tough for a preacher not to say anything!) I realize how important it is that when I have nothing to say I must say everything. And taking the time to touch base with Jesus, to spend a moment in His presence, says it all. And you know what else? I’m finding out that it not only deepens Jesus’ love for me – it deepens my love for Him! Maybe, just maybe, one of these days I will actually spend one day in His presence, with nothing – yet everything – to say.
Is it time for you to start stopping in to say nothing – but everything – to Jesus? “When you have nothing to say, say everything.”