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Speechless, Yet Hopeful

May 25, 2022 | Dan Low

There are moments when we don’t know what to say—but that’s okay. It’s actually sometimes even better for us to say little or nothing.

While we intuitively feel compelled to deliver a choice morsel of wisdom, a soothing word of comfort, or a brilliant flash of insight, being okay with fewer words may create the opportunity for us to hear God’s voice more clearly and experience his presence more deeply.

As the Lord our shepherd makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters (beautiful images of quietness), he restores our soul and takes us down the right paths (Psalm 23:1-3). Allowing ourselves to be still, even in the midst of the most soul-wrenching and earth-shaking events, reminds us that the sovereign Lord is our God—he alone is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46).

When we groan inwardly over the sufferings of this present time, eagerly longing for our final redemption when God will make all things new, the indwelling Spirit helps us to approach our Father when we’re not sure what to say (Romans 8:26-27). What we might consider an awkward silence becomes an awesome experience as the Spirit intercedes for us in perfect alignment with God’s will.

Additionally, that sacred non-verbal space can strengthen our capacity to understand and empathize with others. Ironically, speaking too fast and saying too much might stifle our ability to meaningfully connect.

That’s especially true when we face a tremendous challenge that stretches us like never before. The most beneficial thing that we might say to another person is that we are at a loss for words: “I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know that I care and I am with you. Please know that I am praying that our Father will embrace you with his love and grace at this moment.”

Rather than stumbling over ourselves in trying to locate the right words, we simply leave the door open to keep our conversation going. Choosing to say little may be the biggest way that we communicate our love for others—and express our confidence in Jesus who spoke volumes to the brokenhearted through his tears (John 11:35).