We all have those people in our lives that we think are loud talkers. You're probably thinking of one right now, since I just said that. Maybe you're thinking of me.
I never would have considered myself such, but then, I hadn't given it much thought. I had always lived the way I guess we all live - trying to be heard in our world.
I always lived a life longing to be heard, hoping someone was paying attention and taking note. Of what, I didn't know. For what reason, I hadn't a clue. It just seemed like if I was ever going to be anything, someone had to notice. Someone had to hear.
As God has come into my life in increasingly powerful ways, I have come to understand it is simply He who has to hear. It is He who needs to notice. And He does; and He has. And He continues to do so. And it is He who speaks back, who longs to be heard in my life.
But He has a different way. He shouts in a whisper. In stillness, in silence, in peace. In those quiet moments, His voice rises above all. In those still ticks of the clock, you can hear Him. I can hear Him.
It is in this whisper that there is justification. Sanctification. Strength. Meaning. Purpose. Love. It is in this whisper that you find out who you are - for real, not by some stanard of the world whose measure is always changing but by the perfect measure to which your Creator created you.
I have had this moment. And I hestitate to say that because in truth, I have had this moment a lot. Frequently. Increasingly so as I continue to grow in Him. It is a moment that butts up against the sometmes crushing weight of the world that immediately jumps back in to redefine the standard, that will strip away this Truth if you don't let Him rest in your heart. And it is a moment quickly lost when you're like me.
Because I find that right after one of these beautiful moments, these powerful encounters with God where I finally understand, where everything makes sense...I irritate the heck out of myself. (And probably others. Sorry.)
I get full of this quiet strength, this disciplined energy, this humbled confidence. Like a golf ball settling into its hole, I circle around in these blessings as I try to find that place of rest in the middle of them. But I just don't know what to do with all that. With that energy, with that confidence. With that peace.
I want to talk about it, but no words do justice. I want to take hold of it, but the harder you try to grab onto it, the more quickly it seems to run away. It is something that has to just soak into your heart and you have to embrace it and live it. Just simply live it.
So last night, amidst one of these moments, I found this: the annoyance I find with myself is that I'm still shouting in a quiet world. God has stilled me. He has heard and answered me, in the most perfect and unimaginable way possible. I know Him in my heart, see Him in my mirror, and am just breathless - I get THIS? I ask Him. This is awesome! And in that peace, that strength, that confidence, even that energy, there is this quiet contentment.
That's the secret: quiet contentment. A life that doesn't have to shout to be heard. A life that has already been justified and sanctified by the only hearer that matters. A life that doesn't have a demand or a want or a wish in the world...because it is a life in perfect peace. (That is not to say I have no desire to continue to grow, to push forward, to develop. Contentment with today and a dream for tomorrow are not mutually exclusive.)
So I'm annoying myself...by living a shouting life against the quiet He has graced me with. By thinking there must still be some strife when my heart is screaming contentment. In the stillness, I can hear myself only louder. And it's thoroughly irritating. It's tough - because I want to share this moment. But the gift of the moment is that it is best shared by soaking it in, taking it to heart, embracing its stillness, and living it.
Jesus walked this earth for 33 years. I imagine He had some temptation to shout, to feel like what He was saying or doing or being here demanded to be heard. I know His world told Him that if He wanted to be something, He had to live loud. As a political leader. As an official leader in His Jewish tribe. Yet what I see in Him is beyond the noise.
What I see in Jesus - and what I hope we all see in Him - is a life that embraced this quiet strength. This disciplined energy. This humbled confidence. This stilled contentment. You wouldn't have considered Jesus a loud talker, and the way He lived His life was in perfect alignment with this presence within Him. But His life, the life of our Christ, spoke volumes beyond the world's loudest voice. It continues to speak today.
I'm committing myself to speaking the way my Lord spoke - through the way I live my life in the humbled embrace of my Father. It is His gift....that among other things, I don't have to shout any more. My story is here; and it is heard.
What are you shouting about? What message are you trying to make sure is heard? And what if you gave that question to God? What if you let Him hear you and took His answer at His word? Would you be able to live a quieter life, outside of the tumult and the noise? Would you make a bigger impact in your world - maybe even tell the story you were trying to tell all along?