The Beauty of Quietness

droadflint | February 15, 2016

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple,worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2:36-38

Lighthouse

I am in love with Anna the prophetess. Her story (flushed out in the three short verses of Luke 2:36-38) strikes me every time. In a culture where busyness can be considered as greater holiness, the devoted stillness Anna has before the Lord is stunningly beautiful and unique. I did not see the beauty in this passage until the Lord used it to comfort me during my own season of stillness. I had kept myself busy most of my high school and college life, joining multiple clubs, involved in music and sports, busying myself with meetings, friends, studies, and strangers. It wasn’t until after college, when I had a nine month period of searching for work, no plethora of people surrounding me, and no meetings to rush to that I had to face stillness. But there I learned the glorious fulfillment of time alone with God almighty. Anna worshiped through prayer and fasting for years, never leaving the temple. I’m sure she wasn’t popular, she wasn’t rushing to meetings, she wasn’t going door to door, she wasn’t preaching to crowds, she wasn’t leading a procession, she was communing with the Father; that was enough. And because of her years of faithfulness and nearness to the Lord, she not only recognized when Jesus was brought to the temple, but was also given the great opportunity to speak “about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” I draw two things from this: Anna’s stillness with the Lord was satisfying and purposeful enough for years of devotion, and her extended time in the temple prepared her for the precise moment to declare truth about Christ to others. Our seasons of stillness and waiting are not void of God working, but rather they are filled with opportunities to intimately know God’s character, and therefore, prepare us to glorify Christ to the neighbor down the street or to the masses, according to His will.