Back in early 2000, Amtrak launched a program on their trains called the quiet car train program. Their program involved having either their first or last train car designated as a quiet car. The quiet car would allow passengers to have a quiet and relaxing atmosphere as they traveled to and from work during the morning and evening peak hours. Part of the requirements for passengers to ride in the quiet car was they were asked to have their cell phones turned off. Those on the quiet car also had to disable all electronic devices and any conversations would be kept to a minimum between two parties speaking in a low voice. If a person wanted to listen to music on their headphones the volume needed to be at a point that no one could hear the music but the person him or herself. Any person not willing to comply with these requirements on the quiet car could be given a verbal request to abide by the rules or the person could be requested to sit in another part of the train.
The passengers who rode on the quiet car daily enjoyed the benefit of being able to distress on the train after a hard day at work. A person on their way to work could get some additional sleep on the train or read a book not worrying about any unnecessary distractions while on the train. The quiet train car program that Amtrak rolled out became so popular with passengers, that other public train transportation companies like the LIRR and the Metro-North trains instituted their own quiet car programs as well. These train companies in the Upstate New York and Nassau, Suffolk counties of Long Island would sometimes have two quiet train cars for their passengers. Now as I reflected upon how man saw the need for these quiet car programs to improve the quality of life for their passengers and their conductors, it also brought to mind why having a time of quietness with the Lord is just as important for us spiritually.
Now there are three things that the word of God promises God’s people when they abide in a place of quietness. The first thing that the word of God promises when we abide in a place of quietness is we will have peace in the midst of our crisis. The second thing that the word of God promises when we abide in a place of quietness is that we will dwell safely in His word. Finally, the third thing that the word of God promises when we abide in a place of quietness is that we will have quietness for our weary soul.
The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places (Isaiah 32:17-18),
Peace in the midst of our crisis
The first thing that the word of God promises when we abide in a place of quietness is we will have peace in the midst of our crisis. When you turn on the news or go onto the internet, you hear and see so much stuff that can overwhelm you with anxiety and worry, We hear the news reports about the foods that we eat are no longer good for us and are now harmful to our bodies. Our personal, financial and credit information which we use through financial transactions with businesses are breached by hackers hacking into companies data systems. We see the shocking news about violent mass shootings at nightclubs, movies or even at outdoor concerts. These tragic events cause parents who have teenagers who were not harmed to be concerned for their safety and wondering when they will make it home. No amount of over the counter medicine or prescription that they take can give them the peace and quietness that they desperately need in the midst of their crisis.
Now when I speak about quietness, I am not just talking about a state or atmosphere that man creates for himself on train quiet cars. However, the quietness I believe that the word of God speaks about us being in the presence of God. In John 14:27 the word of Jesus tells us “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”. When we are in the presence of the Lord corporately or privately one of the manifestations of His presence that we experience is His peace. Not only do we experience the peace of God but we also experience a quietness or calmness in our midst. Does that mean immediately that the circumstances will change and the troubles we are facing are gone? The answer to that question my brother and sister is most of the time will be no. However, the peace that the Lord gives us will cause the stormy winds of worry to cease in our minds. The blessed quietness that surrounds us will cause the dark clouds of anxiety to be replaced with the light of God’s glory resting upon us.
Dwelling safely in His word
The second thing that the word of God promises when we abide in a place of quietness is that we will dwell safely in His word. In the second part of Isaiah 32:18 it states that God’s people will dwell in “secure dwellings”. When a man finds a place for him and his family to live, a very important requirement for them living there is knowing that the place is a secure dwelling. The front and rear entrances of the home is secure enough to prevent any intruder from entering the residence. The windows of each bedroom are thick enough so that it will keep the cold weather from affecting the inside of the home. A man may also purchase and install a security system which can alert those monitoring the home when the dwelling is secure and not secure. If the dwelling is considered unsecured it will cause those staying there to feel unsafe and have second thoughts in being in the home.
The same way that we as men want our families to live in a secure dwelling, being in the quietness of God’s presence will help us to dwell safely in His word. A person can be up to date with the latest technology and he can have the best security that money can purchase to secure his home. However, the true security of our hearts and our loved ones can only be kept by the power of God’s word and His promises to us. In Psalms 91:1 the word of God says “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. When we make the decision to dwell under the shadow of the Almighty, He will anchor our emotions as we navigate through the rough waves of life. In the midst of difficult times, the word of God can give us the courage to stand strong and collapse under pressure. The Lord also reminds us that as long as our treasure is in His word and not in the things of this earth, that neither the moth will rust or corrupt of faith and thieves will not be able to steal our joy (Matthew 6:19-21).
Quietness for our weary soul
Finally, the third thing that the word of God promises when we abide in a place of quietness is that we will have quietness for our weary soul. Have you notice that we have become a society that has condition people to always be on the go and to have very little down time for themselves. We are required to work in a fast paced environment with limited resources and outdated computer systems. Most of our US companies choose to work with a reduced workforce to cut cost financially but still expecting their staff to be effective in handling the workload of a full department. Department deadlines are required to be met at the price of increasing the work stress of employees and them burning the candle at both ends. A person may feel that they only have time to grab a quick bite to eat, and never have the right amount of time to enjoy their full lunch break. We have a rat race mentality that by the time we get home we are just too tired to have a good night rest.
The word of God says Isaiah 30:15 “thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength”. The rest that we need for our weary soul will come to us when we return to the Lord not just in word but with all of our hearts. By us spending time alone with the Lord, the quietness that comes from His presence will restore our confidence and strength that our best days are still ahead of us. If are surrounded with strife both inside and out, the Lord promises to give us His quietness that will help us to appreciate what have and not be stressed about what we don’t have (Proverbs 17:1). If we become too hungry and angry in life, the Lord has promised to lead us beside quiet waters. If we become too lonely and tired in life, the Lord has promised to refresh our weary soul with His provision of love (Psalms 23:2-3).