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Peace and Quiet

October 21st, 2015

“A gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4 NIV.

In the stillness of your soul God is known best.

My thoughts and comments today are about “peace and quiet.”

Peace and Quiet. There never seems to be enough of it. The world around you becomes a whirl of activity, busyness, and noise. Any or all of those are distracting and become exhausting. We hear a lot; we listen too little. In already noisy, busy lives, we surround ourselves with more background noise – radio, television, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and social media beguiling our attention for irreplaceable time. All of these diminish your crucial capacity to truly listen. I appreciate the outdated description of such activity as, “hustle and bustle.” Filling the quiet becomes an inadequate substitute for feeling the quiet.

“A gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4 NIV. Paul’s counsel to Timothy was consistent and is as applicable today, “That we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Tim 2:1-2 NIV. Activity is not always synonymous with productivity. Don’t confuse the two. God’s advice is simple, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:1-11 NIV.

In a personally tumultuous season, Elijah despaired of life. Read 1 Kings 19:1-12. He is encountered by God in a strong wind, then an earthquake, then a fire – calamitous and frightening circumstances – “but the Lord was not in [them] and then after the fire [there] was a still small voice.” You can easily become overwhelmed if your heart is not listening for His small, still voice in your heart. ”You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 NIV.

Life sometimes demands a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual parenthesis. Mark recounts Peter’s memory of a season of ministry from which Jesus drew His disciples aside. “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to them, ‘Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” Mark 6:30-31 NIV. A poem, later to become a Methodist hymn, encourages, “Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.” William Dunn Longstaff, 1822-1894.

Peace and quiet begins within you before you will find peace and quiet around you. Gordon MacDonald, a favorite author of mine, wrote “Restoring Your Spiritual Passion.” His premise was that sustained spiritual passion required: “safe places, still times, and special friends.” I find those remain an essential, enduring truth for a growing knowledge of God. In the stillness of your soul, God is known best. I am learning neither to rush when entering nor leaving God’s presence.

May you experience today what David described on the pacific hillsides of Bethlehem, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the [stilled] waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3 NKJV.

Today, I pray for your tranquility to be a testimony of your trust in Christ.

Christian Communications

EDL pix sheep and verdant hillside stream

 

 

 

 

 

 

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