Salt&Light Word in Season: How does God reveal Himself in silence, solitude and meditation?

Word in Season is a monthly series of original Bible devotions and reflections from leaders in God's Kingdom.

Seah Chiew Kwan // November 3, 2023, 2:40 pm


Sometimes God speaks the loudest in silence. Seminary lecturer Seah Chiew Kwan invites us to return to God and rest in Him that we might hear Him speak. Photo by Warren on Unsplash.

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. But you were unwilling.” (Isaiah 30:15)

As I meditate on this verse, I sense my Lord Jesus inviting me to return and rest in the midst of my constant doing and the uncertainty of what lies ahead in this season of my life. Here is the Lord God reaching out to the Israelites to return and rest in Him. But they were unwilling.

Today, as I sense God’s invitation to return and rest, am I willing?

Return to God   

Meditating on this verse helps me to slow down.

Have a heart-to-heart conversation with Him.

In slowing down, I become aware of my state of being and I discover that God is waiting for me all this while to have a conversation with Him.

It is interesting that the spiritual discipline of Scripture meditation leads me to the spiritual discipline of silence and solitude.

The spiritual discipline of silence and solitude is really an invitation from God to return and rest in Him. God is the One desiring us to slow down, pause and have a heart-to-heart conversation with Him through the Scriptures and His creation.

In this sacred space, we enter into quietness and confident trust in our God.

Rest in God

I see a parallel of this returning and rest in Matthew 11:28-30.

The spiritual discipline of silence and solitude is ultimately for community.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The spiritual discipline of silence and solitude is simply slowing down enough to be where we are, for this is where God is.

In the process of slowing down, we discover that all this while Father God is watching over us with pleasure, as His beloved in Christ, in whatever state of being that we are in.

Jesus our Shepherd is holding our hand, leading and guiding us moment to moment, and we can be open to being filled with the Holy Spirit with each in-breath, even as life flows in through our nostrils. This is the rest that Jesus gives to all who come to Him.

In this space, we are graced by the Holy Spirit to enter into a prayer of the heart that leads to rest.

Here our eyes are opened to see the world the way God sees it. We start to see things from God’s perspective.

From there, we carry His Presence to engage with the community. The spiritual discipline of silence and solitude is ultimately for community.

How to return and rest

As I was preparing for this devotion, I kept pondering: How does one return and rest in the Lord?

In quietness and in trust is my strength.

One early morning while it was still dark, I sensed the Lord inviting me to return to the safe place of the womb where He had fearfully and wonderfully made me.

When I am weighed down with burden, frustrated or irritated, scared or angry, what would it look like to return to this safe space?

With the eyes of my heart, I visualised my burdened and broken self gingerly entering into this sacred space of the womb.

Here, I am surrounded by the sound of silence in the midst of the comforting heartbeat of my Creator God. Here, I am in quiet solitude with Father God away from the non-stop commentaries of my head. Here, I rest from the burden of the world and carry the yoke of trust and obedience as I experience the gentle and humble touch of my Saviour Jesus Christ. Here, I am being transformed into obedience as the Holy Spirit lovingly recreates me.

In returning and rest, I am saved. In quietness and in trust is my strength.

Lord, I am willing to enter into your rest.

When to return and rest

Return when heavy-laden that we might receive rest.

Return when angry that we might receive compassion.

In the silence, what might God be inviting you to partner with Him?

Return when frustrated that we might receive peace. Return when sad that we might receive joy.  

In returning, we acknowledge that we are human and broken and in need of God’s ongoing compassionate mercy. In resting, we discover the Holy Spirit’s gentle presence coming alongside us, transforming us to be more like Christ.

In the world of non-stop activities and chattiness, we can choose to allow the Holy Spirit to help us slow down to return and rest in Christ.

Become aware of your own state of being with kindness, with as little judgement as possible. Become aware of Christ’s presence with you, letting Him love you as you are. Breathe and be open to the Holy Spirit’s healing and restoring grace upon you.

In the silence, what might God be inviting you to partner with Him, to participate in His Kingdom work. Have a heart-to-heart conversation with Him as you enter into a deeper communion with Him.



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About the author

Seah Chiew Kwan

Chiew Kwan is an Associate Lecturer with Biblical Graduate School of Theology and Tung Ling Bible School. She facilitates silence and solitude retreats and offers counselling and Christian spiritual mentoring, integrating psychotherapy and Christian spirituality in her work and ministry. A cancer survivor, she enjoys daily walks with her husband Roy.