‘Sitting Quietly with God’: A Reflection from Will Graham

By   •   June 11, 2020   •   Topics: ,

Do you ever just sit still, with no distractions except your thoughts?

It’s one way to truly know God and experience the peace He gives, says Will Graham, vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

In sitting quietly with God, “You’ll find the stress of the world diminishing in the hopeful peace of the One who saves,” Graham wrote in his book, Redeemed: Devotions for the Longing Soul.

There’s more, too.

“You may discover that He uses that time to provide answers to those difficult questions in your life.”

As his grandfather, Billy Graham, grew older, Will Graham would often sit in silence with him. They simply enjoyed being in each other’s presence.

Here’s an excerpt from Redeemed about quiet visits with his grandfather—and with God:

“What was Billy Graham really like when he was away from the crusade stage and behind closed doors?” People have asked me that question quite often. It’s an easy one for me to answer because my grandfather was very much the same humble, personable, wise gentleman at home as he was when he preached to nearly 215 million people around the world.

There was only one difference. You see, though he was always speaking while in public, when he was at home my grandfather rarely talked.

This had always been the case, even in his younger days. While most visitors wanted to hear from him, he preferred to listen and learn about the person with whom he was interacting. He’d want to know about their life, their family, and their faith. He loved to hear their stories.

During the last few years of his life, as I sat with my grandfather, there was very little talk on either side. Occasionally I would give him an update and share about ministry that was taking place, especially if I had been in a city where he preached as a young man. When I would tell him about people responding to the hope of Jesus, his quiet, peaceful countenance would suddenly come alive with a deep and powerful, “Praise the Lord!”

For the most part, though, we would spend our time simply being together. That may sound odd, but it was where we were at in our relationship. And it was a beautiful thing. Words didn’t need to be spoken. We could just rest in the presence of one another.

Similarly, I believe that it’s vital to rest in the presence of God. Life is so hectic—schedules that are full morning until evening, jobs to do, bills to pay, phones that never stop chiming, and relationships that require ongoing development and attention.

These aren’t necessarily bad things, and they are all a part of the world in which we live today. However, it can be difficult to tap the brakes and slow down when we try to spend quiet time with God. We’ll race through a short passage of Scripture and our list of prayer requests, keeping one eye on the phone to make sure we don’t miss that text from the boss.

I commend you for taking time to spend with the Lord, but I would encourage you to meditate on the words of Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Though the Lord surely wants you to talk to Him about what is going on in your life—your struggles and victories, your praises and your hurts—He also wants you to move beyond that and into a place where you can simply sit with Him, resting in His presence.

As you do that, you’ll find the stress of the world diminishing in the hopeful peace of the One who saves, and you may discover that He uses that time to provide answers to those difficult questions in your life.

Searching for peace that lasts? Invite Christ into your life.

Will Graham’s Redeemed: Devotions for the Longing Soul is available online.