Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Symphony in Silence

“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

Few things stir my heart like an evening at the symphony. The busyness of life seems to fade away as the lights dim, and the intricate tapestry of sound drapes itself over the concert hall. I find myself swept away by the melodies, my heart beating in time with the conductor’s graceful movements. There are no burdens. There is no fear. There is only music. For me, it is as if I am surrounded by the very breath of God. I can truly sense His presence. And in that moment it is so easy to worship. It is so easy to give God glory and praise, to believe He can save me from any enemy I might face. Yes, when I’m in my comfortable, velvet upholstered chair in the concert hall lost in the music, life is easy.

Do you know that feeling? Maybe you’ve felt it at a great Sunday morning church service, or at some retreat or conference. We all have those seasons in our lives where we find ourselves immersed in God’s presence, where we grow by leaps and bounds, where we’re surrounded by a wonderful community of faith, where everything just seems to fit. And it is good. And life is easy.

But what happens when the music stops and we are left in silence?

We know that feeling too, don’t we? Those times when life is NOT easy, and God feels distant as we stand in the dark parking lot outside the proverbial concert hall hearts beating and minds racing, burdens falling on our shoulders once again. Those seasons we live in the spiritual desert, plagued by doubt, wondering if God was ever there in the first place, if we’ll ever grow. Sometimes our worlds fall apart, and the silence is deafening. And as I think about those times in my life, the ones I’ve faced and will eventually face again, I am comforted by the words of Zephaniah 3:17. “The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save.” This is not a question, nor is it dependent on situation or circumstance. This is a promise. Whether we sense it or not, God is with us and He is mighty to save. I’ll confess to you that the prospect of silence scares me, especially as I turn the final page on an amazing summer of ministry as a camp counselor. I am confident in this, however: in symphony or in silence, God does not change. He takes delight in His people. He fights for them. He quiets them with His love. And, when silence falls, we can hear Him singing over us. Rest assured, dear one, even the greatest orchestra cannot match the symphony our Father sings in silence. That is something to stand on in every season.

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