"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

9/20/08

A touch of Zephaniah (part 2 - Hussshhh)


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. Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

I have found that when I am under stress, one of the first thing that increases is my voice--both in volume and frequency of use. I know some people just shut down when they're under pressure. I, on the other hand, don't shut up.

And do you know what else? As loud and talkative as I may be during these times, hearing others making similar sounds do not bring me pleasure. When stressed, I am so much more easily distracted by the smallest things--TV background noise, a tapping finger, the washing machine running--than when I'm calm. And don't even ask about the frenzy I often work myself into.

With all the noise, and sensitivity to it, around me, is it any surprise that my productivity suffers when I'm anxious? I simply cannot work as well in these circumstances. So, I complain, which does nothing but add to an already tense situation.

If I were smart, I would just go somewhere quiet and chill out, so to speak - take my stresses to the Lord. But in the middle of stress, I am rarely very intelligent. But that's JUST what God promises me. What I need is confidence that God is in control, and, to be blunt, to quit complaining.
Have you ever been spilling out your troubles and woes to the Lord and suddenly felt that the Lord was trying to get you to stop kvetching and start resting?
I feel that quite often --and I'm ashamed to say I don't always listen. Even when other noises are distracting me, as is often the case when I'm under stress, I cannot convince myself to stop striving and rest in Him.

The psalmist tells us to "be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) And good old Zephaniah reminds us that the Lord will " quiet you with His love." When I'm stressed, I NEED that Godly love to quiet me. I need to stop complaining, stop stressing, stop yelling, and simply hush and rest in the Lord's embrace. Sit down and read His Word. Force yourself to quiet your spirit, and His love will overcome, encourage, and encourage you in your struggles. Rest in Him and trust Him to be there to help you through.

Heavenly Father, I confess to being too eager to talk, act, and do my way through my problems, without seeking the quietness of Your love and trusting You to meet my every need and relieve my every stress. Help me, Lord, to allow You to quiet me in my stress, and to rest in Your perfect will for me. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.

5 comments:

  1. I am loving this series. We really do need the Lord to quiet us with His love, don't we? Our minds just go and go and go...

    Looking forward to more "occasional series"!

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  2. Running around in a frenzy gets to be a habit...one I can't always seem to curtail! I sure needed to read this before my week gets going on Monday.

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  3. Oh, amen to this!
    I LOVE quietness, and I HATE noise. When their is turmoil in my soul, it's like a horrible cacophony. It is so wonderful when our Lord quiets us...not by clamping His hand over our mouths, but with His love! Praise His name!

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  4. I wish you could edit comments once they're posted.

    Of course I meant "there is turmoil," not "their is turmoil."

    Hush about it, Betsy...

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  5. JUST what I needed! I need His quiet...so good! I'll be reading Zephaniah this week, and after reading your parts 1 & 2, I'm really looking forward to it! Thanks!

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