Entering God’s Presence. Perspective Changes. “Secret of the Secret Place” (Oct. 2007)

Susan's Thursday morning note October 11, 2007 
Secrets of the Secret Place : Discovering the Delight of Intimacy with God  by Bob Sorge
Entering God's Presence.  Perspective Changes.   Secret of the Secret Place: Discovering the Delight of Intimacy with God  by Bob Sorge (Oct. 2007)

Good morning!  Two cats and a sky of beautiful stars.  Seems like a dreamlike state I’m in to think for you this morning!  This week I am reading a serious book entitled Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge.  This book was recommended by a woman that I briefly met years ago, yet left an impact of a beautiful spirit with a quiet, dignified presence, Carrie Oliver.  A few months ago I found out that she had cancer and a web site for updates by her.  Carrie’s last entry was the one that I was able to read where she recommended this book that I ordered at that time, yet didn’t pick up until this week.  A few weeks after this letter her son died in an accident, and the following month her cancer took her into the “secret place” that she had only seen a glimpse of in the book she recommended.  Last night I could not sleep and continued to read the book.  I feel like I am in her sacred place when I read this.  At 3:00 this morning I thought of how much is out of our control and how overwhelming this can be when we humanly want to “fix” everything on our own, yet the power of entering the secret place – it is indescribable.  “What is this secret?  The secret is the secret.  The secret of the shut door.”

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6.  Matthew 6:18 then says, “So that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place.

“We close the door to our secret place so that we might shut out all distracting voices and tune our hearts to the one voice which we long to hear.  “The secret place of thunder” – Hearing God’s voice has become the singular quest of my heart, the sole pursuit that alone satisfies the longings of my heart…” The author states that he enters his silent place in his home for prayer.  To listen.  For silence.  To be in the presence of God.  To be free of distraction.  He states that most days he comes away with unfulfilled longings, unrequited initiatives, unanswered prayers, unrealized aspirations, deferred hopes, and incomplete understandings.  But then along comes a day where a portion of Scripture meets precicely his needs.  That moment is worth all of the knocking and seeking of the preceding days.  “…I will endure months of silence if He will but speak on word to my spirit.  My role in the secret place is to listen for anything God might want to speak.  I must put myself in a posture of listening.  Psalm 95:7 says, “Today, if you will hear His voice.  Stop everything, come aside (silent place), listen, wait on Him.  Wait until.  He longs to commune with you.”

A book that has been on the NYT bestseller list this summer/fall is called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  I do not want to offend any of you that loved this book, but the book left me feeling shallow, hollow.  The secret in this book is the power of “magnetism” – if we think something, it can then happen.  But this book focuses on finances, relationships, power, success.  I believe in optimistic thinking, but this book gave the secret of life as pursuing tangible objects for our satisfaction.  The secret left me empty.  For to me peace of mind, peace of spirit, and peace in my home is what I desire above all.  The secret in the book this week is found only in the silent presence of God.  My Creator.  The only way to find peace.

Camden sang a song in VBS when he was only three that I still watch on a video.  In the absolute seriousness portrayed by a toddler singing in church he earnestly voiced this prayer.  Picture his actions of the finger in front of his lips, his hand cupped around his ear, touching his forehead, touching his lips, touching his face, pointing to his eyes as he sang the following words:

In the secret, in the quiet place
In the stillness You are there.
In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait,
Only for You, because I want to know You more;

I want to know You,
I want to hear Your voice
I want to know You more.
I want to touch You,
I want to see Your face
I want to know You more.

In the secret, in the quiet place
In the stillness You are there

In the letters and diaries of Anne Lindbergh that I also read this week (War Within and Without, 1939-1944) I underlined the same idea of silence.  She wrote after arriving in the US from living in Europe…  “No American can understand the need for time – that is, simply space to breathe.  If you have ten minutes to spare you should jam that full instead of leaving it – as space around your next ten minutes.  How can anything ripen without those “empty” ten minutes.” Do we have to have time fly as we do?  Is it worth waking earlier to find a place to “shut the door” and listen.  To seek peace.  To pursue a life that honors God.  To pursue a life of empty time?  Will the emptiness help us grow?  Emptiness giving to us?  An interesting thought!  Now, with that – I still do not see a glimpse of the sun, but I do feel the brisk morning.  May you have time today for emptiness.  May you have time today to be filled with silence.  Oh, goodness – Camden just yelled, “Moooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy.” He was supposed to sleep in – he doesn’t have school!!!!  So much for my silence!  (giggle or cry?!?!?) Go take on your day!  It’s yours!!!!!!  Susan

Work cited:
 Sorge, Bob.  Secrets of the Secret Place : Discovering the Delight of Intimacy with God.  Ed.  Edie Veach.  Pretoria: Van Schaik Uitgewers, 2001.