In our busy world, we are inundated with noise. Hundreds of noises constantly move through our lives and we’ve become so used to it all we hardly notice it.
Cars, airplanes, computers, telephones, the background buzz and whir of a multitude of electronics and appliances.
Not to mention all the inner noise running through our heads - the self conversations of to do lists, of what-ifs, the should-haves and the broken dreams that we re-live over and over.
It’s no wonder so many in this world are lost and not able to hear the voice of God, including many Christians. We often don’t stop long enough to even wonder if any of what we are hearing is from God.
Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine what it must have been like before God breathed our world into existence. My imagination hears the soft swish of wind as He moves about. And I imagine after each day of the creation perhaps a little more sound, but still all very gentle.
The soft and flowing sound of running streams; the hushed breezes blowing through the trees; and when He created man, the soft padding of their bare feet as they meandered through the garden.
How beautifully serene it all must have been. So pure and unpolluted and melodic. Nothing to numb the senses to the gifts that God had bestowed. He didn’t have to be sought out among a thousand other things. His miraculous beauty was in and on and around everything.
Today, when we do find Him – truly sit with Him, listen, learn, love and give thanksgiving – it’s rarely (if ever) among the noise and busy-ness of our days. To truly love Him and give him thanks requires us to stop (even if it’s only for a few seconds). It requires us to slow down, to rest. And that’s when we are able to see the good of it all.
Think about it…even God himself did not create the world in just a few seconds with the snap of his majestic fingers – He could have, but He did not. The Bible tells us each day He created…he stopped…he looked…he saw that it was good…and He rested. He took time to enjoy each step of the process. (Genesis 1:1-31)
I believe that is how He also intended us to enjoy what He so carefully created for us. To stop, to look, to see that it is good, and to rest in Him with praise and thanksgiving. When we do not, we miss out on the miracles He has set in our path. We lose out on the joy of the moment because we are trying so hard to get to the next step – often before we even consider if that step is from Him or if it’s “man-made”.
I recently read a book (One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp) that introduced me to the word Eucharisteo. It is Greek in origin, and means to be grateful, feel thankful or to give thanks. The author states a simple and profound truth:
"Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle."
But to get to Eucharisteo, we must slow down. This is the only way we will see all the beauty in our lives. Even the things that don’t SEEM beautiful (laundry, fighting kids, lovers who break our hearts), to stop and look at those things and offer thanksgiving to Him…that is the only way to get to the miracle.
Thank you, Father, for water and soap to clean our clothes so we are comfortable.
Thank you, Father, for these children with healthy minds and bodies.
Thank you, Father, for the opportunity to have loved.
And when you see these things as blessings, when you hear His “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12) as you stop to give your thanksgiving, even for the very breath you are now breathing…
He will speak to you.
He will fill you.
He will show you real love.
His words will block out all the other noise of the world in that moment. And you will know the miracle of hearing the Living God.
In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. –Isaiah 26:3