This week I’ve been thinking about noise.
It’s everywhere. The sounds of people rushing here and there frantically trying to see more, do more, hear more, accomplish more in a shorter time. On television and radio, in restaurants and stores, we hear the voices of individuals discussing the latest news events and expressing their opinions on the topic of the day. Often more information is thrown at us than we can use or want to hear.
Noise attracts attention. “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” People notice those who loudly complain or voice their viewpoint to anyone who is willing to listen. The muffled cry for help, the plaintive sob, the quiet sigh of a broken heart are often lost in the din.
But not to God.
He hears the faintest whisper of a prayer. He sees the tear that’s quickly wiped from a cheek. He looks beyond the outward smile and feels the pain of the wounded spirit. He understands the confusion of the mother who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and feels her anxiety as she wonders how her children will cope without her loving guidance. He empathizes with the bereaved husband who has just buried his lifelong partner and best friend.
Our Heavenly Father cares about even the most insignificant concern of His child. But it’s difficult for us to hear His words of guidance and reassurance when we are bombarded with distractions and competing voices. The constant stresses surrounding us can leave us frazzled and drained.
So Jesus calls to us, just as He did to the weary multitudes who came to hear Him speak 2,000 years ago, “Come to me, all you who are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV).
Sometimes just taking a few moments away from our responsibilities and commitments to sit quietly and let the Lord talk to us through His Word can refresh and strengthen us. Often in those quiet moments He gives insight and guidance that will help us to cope with life’s challenges and to accomplish everything we must do.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the stresses of your busy life? When you finally check off every task on your lengthy to-do list and lie down to sleep, do problems fill your mind and seem to multiply? The problems that God allows in our lives can be blessings in disguise if they force us to depend on Him to a greater extent than we have before.
Spend some time in His presence before you go to bed. Commit each problem to Him in prayer, and then listen to whatever He may want to tell you. When you allow Him to guide your thoughts He can help you to view your situation from His perspective.
So, shut out the noise, and then welcome His peace.