Thursday, November 6, 2008

Quiet

Life is loud right now. The average person sees up to 5,000 marketing messages a day. That means that every week, someone is telling you something 35,000 times. Every month, you get offered 150,000 different messages, most of which are trying to sell you something that will improve your life. Every year, more than 1.8 million messages tell you how to be a better you with what they offer. And when we add our own internal soundtracks to that noise, things get really cluttered.

We tell ourselves we're not good enough. Or that we're fantastic. We inflate and deflate our own egos all day long with ideas and words and thoughts that bounce around our hearts and heads. Friends and family, coworkers and television, the internet and radio add to the conversation.

And life feels loud.

That's why I love Zephaniah 3:17:

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.

The whole verse is great, but my favorite part might be the promise that God will "quiet you with his love."

I am in awe that the verse is not written:

God will quiet you by speaking louder than everything else.
God will quiet you with his knowledge
God will quiet you with his disappointment in you for allowing life to get so loud
God will quiet you with his anger.

It's love. God is going to quiet us with his love. And when he does, we'll be able to hear him singing over us.

Life is loud right now, and there are ways I can be deliberate and intentional about making it quieter. But the truth is, what I pray for the most, when things feel loud and out of control, is that God will quiet me with his love.

17 comments:

Alison said...

My world feels like nothing but noise these days....and I need the quiet to find the answers God wants me to see. Thanks for the reminder. It was perfect timing. Thank you, as always.

GramCrackers said...

I am always surprised that you get so many fewer comments here than you do on SCL. I don't know why I'm surprised since I am possibly the most sarcastic person on the planet. But 97seconds is such a great ministry. Don't stop!

Sometimes there is so much noise I only have a few moments to refocus on what really matters, and this is one of my lifelines (ask the expert?).

I am glad God uses His love to quiet us...not a billboard or a screaming commercial.

Thank you!

The Wingnut said...

I remember way back when, Pastor Rob did a sermon about finding God in the quiet. Be still and know, and the passage about the "still small voice".

He did the entire thing in powerpoint, and didn't say a single thing the whole time. We had to read it on the screens.

It was one of my favorite sermons ever.


wingnut

Joanna said...

It is truly amazing how much we get bombarded with all the time. I never really noticed until i went to Japan without being able to read more than a few characters of Japanese. Very little of the advertising had any english on it. It was a weird and refreshing change to not be constantly reading advertising messages for a few days.

ReadyGo said...

beautiful.

Ed said...

Wow, God must really be trying to tell me something. This is twice in less than a week that Zephaniah 3:17 has been brought to my attention.

Shhhhh.....

Thanks Jon.

DoubleDog Mom said...

Thank you for this. Like Ed, this is the second time in a couple of weeks this has been brought to my attention.

This site is wonderful, thanks for what you do.

Oslerfamily said...

Okay after I had a "Is Jon Mormon? Zephaniah is a book in my Bible?" moment and then spent 97 seconds trying to find the book...........oh,how I just bow my head in shame...........
Anyway your post reminded me of a cardiologist who would run his codes in the ICU, where I worked, with a whisper. You could almost see the staff lean forward to hear his orders. Usually codes were "loud and proud". His codes were always quiet (and more successful). It helped me put a visual to what God tries to do when I am quiet. (And I know where Zephaniah is now!Dooh!)

jenn3 said...

I love this thought. Life is crazy loud and busy and I never looked at this verse that way before. Thank you.

Jules said...

wow, thanks for this!

Sarah Lewie said...

This is one of my favorite verses. I usually focus on the "rejoice over you with singing" part, but it's a great reminder to know that I'll also be quieted by His love, something that I'm sure I don't realize enough.

Thanks Jon.

vanilla said...

Beautiful scripture, beautiful commentary.

Megs said...

If i could even tell you how much i needed this this morning . . . thank you, Jon. This is still my favourite of your blogs.

another lisa said...

i guess i didn't see this until now, because i needed it now.
you know how sometimes a new, fresh image will pop in your head as you're reading a familiar verse/ passage?
well i flashed on a parent getting down to a kid's level, holding or hugging and singing in a little ear, quietly, lovingly, while chaos ensues all around them.
thanks, jon

Anonymous said...

this is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

would you mind me using your ideas for a Ladies Brunch? Thanks, Cindy

a florida gal said...

...thanks, just what I needed. The noise right now are the lies I listen to in my head...so, at your prompting (obviously used by the Holy Spirit) I too will pray that God will quiet me with his love....mmmmm, breathe that in.