Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 22, Psalm 28-29, Ecclesiastes 5, and 2 Timothy 1

Ecclesiastes 5 imageBy Jane Graham

Dusk settled onto the plains, casting a gauzy pink veil over the Badlands. With windows down and mountain goats littering the road, we pointed our van down a winding road promising to lead us back to camp. Summer gleamed at the height of splendor, and our Creator’s majesty was not lost on us—a family so tiny and small against a backdrop so grand.

The air soothed warm and sweet with the smell that comes from July and dirt and stubborn grass in the dessert. Staring out the window, Rich Mullins’ voice reached through the grave, grabbing my heart. And watching the beauty pass me by, rosy clouds slipping into the horizon, I had nothing to say.

Ecclesiastes 5

I’m amazed by how often my soul has been quieted by the breathtaking grandeur of nature. By towering trees near Mount Rainier. By Caribbean water so blue it made me weep. By the crackle of a fire in the Teton backcountry. By a Michigan evening at the lake.

That this earth is ours to enjoy and swallow up whole is amazing; it leaves me quiet.

So why is it that despite these significant moments of silence, I struggle to keep my tongue in check? Why do I create situations that make me want to lift up a square of carpet and crawl underneath? I agonize and analyze and replay conversations, wondering if I offended – if I should’ve said something differently – if I said too much?

More troubling still is this: Do I do the same in the house of God? Do I miss the whispers from heaven because I’m too busy talking? Too noisy to listen?

Today’s Scripture convicted me that restraining my words and purposing to listen is a prayer I must keep praying:

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. …draw near to listen. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For… a fool’s voice [comes] with many words. (Portions of verses 1-3)

This Good Friday, let us approach the cross with hearts bowed low and tongues silenced by the magnitude of the gift offered on our behalf. Let us not forget the crown piercing, the whips snapping, the curtain torn in two, the earth trembling.

Let us quietly ponder that we approach the cross with nothing but our hearts to give. And, amazingly, while such a paltry offering in comparison to His immense suffering, our hearts are what Christ most desires.

image credit: Tim Sheerman-Chase cc

Today’s Question: Are you missing the whispers of heaven because you’re too busy talking?

JaneG_200Jane Graham is a paper-and-ink-word-lover and is amazed that God has opened the door to a career in writing. In 2010 Jane helped write Weaving Dreams: the Joy of Work, the Love of Life, which debuted at #13 on the Wall Street Journal List. More importantly, Jane loves being a mom and raising her three kids to be young disciples, to bake great cookies, and to enjoy summer with abandon. While she has put blogging on the back burner for a season, you can learn more about her and her love of Jesus at

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Compelled, By What? - 2 Corinthians 5
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