"Again his voice roars, his majestic voice thunders ..." - Job 37:4
The cacophony of noise drums in my head. The medical term for it is "tinnitus"; I simply call it "aggravating". While some refer to it as "ringing" or "buzzing" in the ears, I wish it were only a "ring" or a "buzz".
I have read of some people who patiently pray for the noise to stop so that they can sit silently and listen for the voice of God. There has to be a different approach.
Maybe this is God's way of getting my attention. Perhaps He is speaking, loud and clear; I just refuse to listen to it. I see it as "aggravating noise"; He sees it as a still voice speaking thunderously to me.
"Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." - 1 Samuel 3:9
"... For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say." - Luke 12:12
I visited my friend on a Monday. He had brain cancer for 14 months. He told me the doctor recently told him there was nothing more they could do for him. He said he no longer cared about work, sports, or anything else: "those things aren't important anymore," he remarked.
I held his hand, kept silent for a bit, and then tried to convey encouraging, uplifting, positive thoughts. "It is all in God's hands," I told him. "Yeah ... God," he said. When I left, I told him I would see him again in a few weeks.
My friend died five days later. I guess I didn't get it. It didn't seem like he would die that soon after I saw him. I was planning on seeing him again. Should I have said more? Did I say the right thing?
Yes. I will see him again. At some point in time.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
OMG! The butterfly landed on my hand in the backyard. How cool is that!! I could feel it tickling the back of my hand. And, then, in the blink of an eye, it was gone.
Do you have a moment when God was so close to you, you could touch him and feel His tickling deep in your soul?
O God, come close to me. Enable the Holy Spirit to come alive in my soul. Amen.
"Then God said: Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures ... God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of crawling living creatures with which the water teems ... God saw that it was good, and God blessed them, saying: Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas ... " - Genesis 1:20-22
It was a breathtaking sight. Two dolphins swimming in and out of the wake of the boat. They were playing and dancing and just having fun! All of this took place against the backdrop of a beautiful golden sunset mirrored in the calm water of the sea. It was indeed a breathtaking sight.
God saw that it was good.
And so did I.
(Photo taken in the Gulf of Mexico by Fort Myers Beach, Florida)
"As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' " - Luke 9:57
Many years ago when I was learning to drive, my dad went with me for a ride through the park. Along the route, he pointed out some nice houses on the right side of the road. I don't remember what happened next, but there was a ditch, and it wasn't pretty! I do, however, remember the lesson learned that day: the steering wheel goes where the eyes lead.
So where are your eyes leading you? What are you steering toward? What corrections do you need to make in order to stay on course?
Holy Spirit, lead me along clear paths and do not let me stray from the plan. Amen.
"Sing praise, play music; proclaim all his wondrous deeds." - 1 Chronicles 16:9
Can you imagine what it's like to listen to the billowing, sweet-sounding tones from a 7000 pipe, majestic Casavant Frères organ? Imagine no longer. Although this fine organ at Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal (Canada) is not one of the largest in its class, it is magnificent nonetheless. Against a backdrop of the Basilica's glorious altarpiece, you can hear a snippet of this splendid musical instrument above.
Sing praise, play music, give glory. Amen.
"By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples." - John 15:8
How do they do that? Our strawberry plants are sprouting shoots that dangle from the main plant. The shoots are as vibrant and productive as the mother plant. No dirt, no water, no direct nutrients, yet they survive and produce their own fruit. How do they do that?
I guess we aren't much different.
Heavenly Father, hang on to me as I hang on to you. Give me the nutrients I need to survive independently, yet always remain dependent on You. Amen.
"When I say, 'My foot is slipping,' your mercy, LORD, holds me up. When cares increase within me, your comfort gives me joy." - Psalm 94: 18-19
We neglected our tomato plants for a bit, and they got massively out of control. It is so bad that we can't even bring them back under control at this point.
Perhaps we should stop and reflect on our own life. Like these tomato plants, are we so out of control that we can no longer be reigned in? Or are we still manageable, able to be shaped and pruned by our Master?
O Lord, don't ever leave me unattended. Shape me, mold me, and prune me so that I am always mindful of Your gentle care. Amen.
I can "swipe to type" on my smartphone keyboard. What a cool thing! Just glide my finger from letter to letter, and it knows the word I want. I don't even have to be precise ... just close.
It's like our relationship with God. He knows all of our thoughts, dreams, worries, and fears before we even express them. There's no need to be precise ... just close.
Heavenly Father, thank you for knowing me more than I know myself. You anticipate my every word and thought and action. Together, we glide as one. Amen.
"The spirit of the LORD came upon him ... " - Judges 3:10
Cancer is invading his brain. He lies in bed most of the day. People come and go, but he seems alone.
I visited the other day. When I left, I touched his hand to wish him well until I visited again.
"All of a sudden I have goosebumps", he said. "Look at the goosebumps!" he exclaimed.
The room was not cold. There was no air blowing. I knew where the goosebumps originated. The Holy Spirit passed from me to him. Pentecost is alive and well.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."