It has been one of those weeks. A week of challenges and a week of great things. At the same time. Mainly a week that has taken all my emotional strength – and drained it. Apparently, my mental energy drains right alongside my emotions. I was content to skip posting today (which typically stresses me – but, like I said…zapped) but God so sweetly spoke straight to my heart this morning during devotions with my husband. He reads from the Bible and from a devotional book as well. The book we are using – Trust and Obey by Paul Chappell – was written two years ago…but today’s words seemed as if they were written specifically for me. For right now. This day in 2020. I love it when God does that!! It has happened in conversations, through sermons and even blog posts and it is not a coincidence. It is God – speaking to me! And what a gift it is! Here are just a few thoughts from this morning:
“….one of the common responses to hardship and enmity is silence…..But it is in the moments of challenge that our voices are most important. The opening of our mouths in praise and worship to God is not optional in the Christian life. The silent Christian is a disobedient Christian.”
“God created us to praise Him, and this is just as true in difficult times as in times of blessing.”
Amen and yes indeed. Powerful, encouraging…and convicting.
I have always had less than stellar hearing – even as a child. I was often told that I was too loud – and (strongly) encouraged to stop talking so loudly. I blame my hearing. Whatever the reason, somewhere along the way I learned to withdraw. If I didn’t talk, I would not get in trouble for being loud and, if I wasn’t engaged in talking, I would withdraw into my thoughts, etc.
As well, I have never really enjoyed loud. Loud music. Loud conversations or voices. Even celebrations that become loud. Loud noises always startle me and other types of loud (whatever they may be) either frighten, annoy or irritate me. Either way, I typically withdraw. Being a skill learned early, it comes naturally for me. However, this defense often overflows into other situations where I feel overwhelmed. The more tired, drained, hurting, griefing or even overwhelmed with wonderful emotions I am, the more silent I become. The “loud” of life makes me silent.
And, yes, there are times when I need to remain quiet. I appreciate that. However, there are so many more times where I need not only to refuse the retreat but also to speak up. To use my voice – in spite of the loud, over the loud or even to calm the loud. To calm the noise in my own heart. It takes wisdom to know the right words to say and the right time to say them. Often, it takes courage. But the best place to start is with praise. Praise, worship, gratitude. These words should not remain unsaid.
I’ll end with part of a quote from Charles Spurgeon – also taken from today’s devotional. Spurgeon said, “Doth not all nature around me praise God? Doth not the thunder praise Him……the mountains…the lightning?? Hath not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?”
Wonderful thoughts to ponder.