What We All Need to Hear
Have you ever walked through a season that was just harder than you ever felt prepared to handle? Feeling lost in the muck and the mire and looking hard for that breakthrough?
I have. I am.
Perhaps your heart is more attuned or more stout, more confident, more reliant than mine has felt as I have walked the dusty and dry valleys of waiting, hoping, and yearning. But perhaps not. Maybe we are more alike than we both have ever admitted, at least out loud.
I may not know much about you–how you prefer to spell your name, what you dream or nightmare about–but I do know there are most likely threads within our lives that are about the same shade of uncertain or the similar hue of longing for hope, for joy, for deep affirmation and love.
We need those things. We crave those things.
Yet the emotion that is loudest is most often the opposite of those things.
Why is that?
One would think that the most powerful emotions afforded the human soul would also be the loudest. But I have not found that to be so.
I liken it to the media. More often than not, they hail the horrors of this world – shouting from the rooftops the injustice, the hatred, the loss, the sin that has defeated the good. They are certain. They are boastful, proud of this report. They are eager to be the first to share it, loudest to declare it, proud to dramatize it.
Ever heard the phrase, “Drama sells.” Well, sadly, it does. And too often, we have bought it.
So, what about love? What about joy, hope, and words and actions that affirm, build, restore? These things are infinitely more subtle, but nonetheless carry a power that is beyond the wisdom and prose of this backwards world.
They don’t demand our attention, but simply beckon us to a better way. They don’t glamorize pain and suffering, but whisper to the hurting soul that all is not lost. That He sees us, that He is proud of us, wants us, and is preparing a place for us.
Hope doesn’t disappoint. (Isaiah 49:23)
Joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
Affirmation waits for the heart that listens for the Savior’s voice. (Psalm 10:17)
Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
Yet, the enemy of our souls is loud. And his strategy is to convince us to forget – to drown out the voice of our Savior, distract us into forgetting His faithfulness. Forcing us to panic and look for a way out instead of looking up to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
In these tragedies, we forget who we are and whose we are. When we forget those things, we forget hope. When we forget those things, we forget that something better already belongs to us…is in us.
Here’s the thing – yes, we may walk through some pretty dark valleys in this life, but those valleys will never be our home. He is the Good Shepherd and He promises that in the midst of our enemies, our demons, our nightmares, our own brokenness, He is preparing a table for us….a feast.
Let’s read this familiar psalm together:
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Let us not become so enamored with our own brokenness or sin, fear or loss, that we stop listening to the voice of our Beloved who is beckoning. He is calling me. He is calling you. Let’s not be kept from responding, from rising, from rejoicing.
The song I want to share today is from Kristine DiMarco’s new album entitled, “I Am No Victim,” and it is a powerful anthem that declares the identity and hope, joy and love that Jesus has declared over every one of us.
He said it. I believe it. Now…GET BEHIND ME, SATAN! I am NOT a victim of sin and loss, hatred or despair. NO! That is NOT who Jesus says I am nor the future He has declared over my life.
Today, let’s determine to not walk in a future that doesn’t belong to us. Let’s give ourselves permission to silence the loud and open wide to His provision and love. What a breath of fresh air!
With joy for the journey,