Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Getting Beyond the Noise

I didn't want to write anything immediately after the shooting in Las Vegas.  I knew my feelings would be too strong and my focus would be too political.  I wouldn't be able to hear the Holy Spirit over the screaming in my own head or the echoing sobs I felt inside.  It's hard to seek guidance when you hurt.

And isn't that the point?

There are so many things in our lives competing for our attention.  There are very real, visceral things and there are the things that honestly are just noise...distracting noise.

These last few weeks it seems the volume on the real and the annoying has been turned up to 11.  From storms to shootings to floods...and those are just the things that made the news.  Add in the stuff of everyday life, babies, weddings, funerals, illnesses, school, children, jobs, and its no wonder so many people are subject to stress related diseases.

But that cacophony of noise was never intended to be the realm of the believer.  It is however a most effective form of combat to our spiritual walk.  If we're too consumed with the stuff of life, how can we worship?  How can we pray and hear?  How can we trust a God we cannot reach?

Simple words and phrases aren't enough to soothe a broken spirit.  I cannot imagine the pain so many people must be feeling in Houston, in Florida, in Puerto Rico, in Montana following fires, in so many places following the Vegas shooting.  I surely wouldn't try to offer just words when facing such great losses.  But, fulfillment?  That's another story.

Today, dear brothers and sisters, turn off the tv.  Turn off the radio.  Put down the phone. They will all be there when you get back.  Take some time to focus in on God.  Give Him the space in our lives that He not only deserves but desires.  Parents, that 'thrill' we feel when our teens want to spend time with us?  Yeah, God likes that too.

If you are feeling empty and lost especially after some crushing event, whether or not it made the evening news, God cares.  Your catastrophe may be entirely personal or affect a whole neighborhood.  God cares.  Won't you let Him show you the care?

Slip away.  Get quiet.  Focus on Him.  Let the healing in.

Psalm 91

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

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