March 21, 2012

Vigorous Action, Sweet Quiet

Psalm 84

LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.
—Psalm 84:12


Action and quiet—both are necessary for a well-rounded life. We might tend toward one or the other, with action perhaps more to our liking in our fast-paced world today. Yet I also sense that a longing for quiet asserts itself at times. Some speed bumps are now called “calming strips.”

Psalm 84 bears the imprint of quiet. “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD.” The swallow nests quietly with her young near God’s altar. Yet caring for the young is also about action. Psalm 84 pictures a balance of both quiet and action.

“Ever praising you” is an example of continual action while enjoying the quiet blessing of dwelling with God. “Blessed are those … whose hearts are set on pilgrimage”; they move from quiet reflection to action, going “from strength to strength” till they appear before God. Being “a doorkeeper in the house of my God” sounds like a quiet responsibility, and yet one “whose walk is blameless” leads a life of action.

Vigorous action and sweet quiet. We need both, and we need them in the proportion God ordains for us. As the psalmist puts it, “Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.”

Lent is a good time to trust God—in our action and our quiet.

Father, in this Lenten season, may we find your strength in times of quiet, that we may actively walk with you. Through Jesus Christ our hope, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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