Noise: def: Sound or a sound of any kind
We live in a noisy world. It seems that there is nowhere we can go without some external sound occupying our ears.
A few years ago while driving across the middle of our country the thought occurred to me that the reason why most of the people who worked on farms or ranches had a sense of an Almighty God was because they were familiar with and comfortable with silence.
Psalm 121 says, Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.
The prophet Jeremiah has been called the “weeping prophet” due to his tender heart and the difficult message that God chose him to deliver to the people. Try as he might, he could find no way to avoid the mission to which he was called.
Curious is a passage in the bible book that goes by his name. In chapter 31 we find that, as was customary, God was speaking to Jeremiah preparing him for the continuing message to God’s people; however, now the message was shifting from judgment to one of restoration.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Once again they will speak this word n the land of Judah and in its cities when I restore their fortunes, ‘The Lord bless you, O abode of righteousness, O holy hill!’ And Judah and all its cities will dwell together in it, the farmer and they who go about with flocks. For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes” verses 23-25
It is here that we find the curious statement: At this time I awoke and looked and my sleep was pleasant to me. Verse 26
It appears that much of the message that Jeremiah had just received was while he was sleeping.
Imagine with me why this might be the case. Why would God choose to communicate with Jeremiah while he was asleep?
Perhaps it was due to the angst that Jeremiah carried as the messenger to Israel. Perhaps it was due to the nature of the message changing from judgment to restoration. For whatever reason, God spoke to him while he was sleeping and clearly delivered the message for him to deliver.
It was a few months ago that I began to understand that there was often a reason why I awoke in the nighttime. For years these unexpected and unappreciated moments on sporadic nights were a frustration. Recently, I have come to understand that, as with Jeremiah, the nighttime is often the best time for God to get my undivided attention.
With the busy, noisy world what we live in there are times when our minds and our spirits are preoccupied and unavailable to our God. In His tenderness He will not yell to get our attention; but He will avail Himself of other opportunities.
The next time that you awake in the night, ask God what He has to tell you. Perhaps a name of someone will come to your mind; or a situation; or a missionary; or a church or some other thing that He desires for you to pray for.
Sure, He would have asked you at an earlier moment to pray but perhaps He “couldn’t get a word in edgewise”!
Rather than presenting Him with only the sleeping hours we might find greater rest in making other space in our lives wherein quiet opens the door and opens our ears.
Give it s try this week!