I love to talk about life. Life is a series of mountaintop and valley experiences, and I ache to talk about them all. With that loves comes a bad habit. Sometimes, I just don’t know when to stop. I know that I wear some people out with my nonstop analyzing, worrying, and thinking. Most people just simply listen. A few add fuel to the fire and keep me going. But, there is one that will tell me, “Stop it. Stop it now.” Don’t get me wrong, he listens intently. However, when I round the corner and head back to the same story with the same details, he refuses to walk the road with me again.
On more than one occasion, his reaction has hurt my feelings. You could even say that it puts me into a sour mood, and he further adds salt to the wound by calling me a “sour puss.” So, not only has he basically told me to shut up, but he has called me a name. My logical conclusion is that he doesn’t care enough to listen to me. He obviously doesn’t love me.
Recently, I was talking to him about my day. I described it as nothing short of devastating. I shared with my friend once, and he sat and looked me in the eye for nearly two hours. He offered encouragement, understanding, and patience. I finished, he hugged me, and the subject was changed. I wasn’t satisfied. I decided to tell him all over again. Maybe he didn’t care enough the first time. He may not have clearly heard me. Maybe, just maybe I had left out some important element of the story that he needed to know. Being the good friend that he is, he persevered a little longer than usual, but I could tell I was pushing my luck. Finally, he said, “You are finished. Stop.” I hung on passionately and tried to speed talk my way through. Although I tried to ignore him, my efforts were in vain. I had tested his patience and he would have no more of it. “No. No more, Karen. End of story.” He had rendered me powerless and my eyes bulged with tears.
When I lay down in my bed that night, I realized how excessively stressed out I had become in the process of “telling” him my story. I had nearly worked myself into a panic attack. I had a raging headache and my chest felt tight. As I lay there in my emotional fog, I realized that I was somewhat relieved that he had told me to stop. Somehow, he knew that I couldn’t be allowed to go on. He had saved me from myself. I was literally worn out. I had whined and worried to the point of no return. I had begged him to give me more than anyone was really capable of giving. The problem I had faced was bigger than me or any remedy he might dream up.
I have to learn to close my mouth and recognize the counsel that is being given. Whether it is words of wisdom, a kind touch, or a loving gesture, being still has its time and place. Though his method seemed cold at first, my friend knew that he had to shock me in order for me to listen. I could not continue to be a big crybaby…it was getting me nowhere. I understand now that it was his love and concern for me that motivated him to “shut me up.”
I can only imagine how God feels when I sit down here spouting off my requests to Him. I drown out any hope of hearing His answers because I just keep flooding Him with details and yearnings. Flooding Him with things He already knows. My goodness, shouldn’t it be enough to know that He loves and cares for me more than anything? I can almost hear God saying, “Karen, stop. No more…end of story.” His true heart to reach me is found in the words of Psalm 46:10a: “Be still and know that I am God…” What a calming reassurance to know that He is my God.
He doesn’t want me to be still because He is sick of hearing from me. Sometimes, He wants to hear me through my thoughts…my tears…my heart. God desperately wants to work in my life and bring me to a deeper understanding of His presence in my life. He desires to lift me up through the silence and teach me to depend on Him and His unwavering goodness. Once I give it all up to God and close my mouth, I truly can rest in the fact that He is the Author…the One who will ultimately write the end of the story.