I have become inundated with the noise that surrounds me; the voices all clash and make it hard to discern what I am hearing.
Then again, I find I can hear just perfectly when I weed out the sounds that bring negativity to my soul.
Someone can be saying the right thing, but at the wrong time, in the wrong way, and for all the wrong reasons; and when I am trapped in the center of this overwhelming conflict, I am confused and disoriented beyond my ability to process all of it. Noise, noise, noise, crashing, banging, demanding, unrelenting, unforgiving, and destroying. From every side there comes an attack which separates reason from madness, peace from calamity, and grace from condemnation. And I have gone on listening for so long that I got used to the ringing in my ears and the disorientation of my soul.
The culprits? Too many to list, and some are too dangerous to name. It is when you call out something for what it is that every cell of its organism turns into a vengeful, vindictive, agent of vitriolic hatred. So often the seemingly calm, and measured voice can turn into a seething, caustic liquid that will use whatever means needed to invade your soul and destroy whatever isn’t already lost.
I was at the edge of ruin, teetering over the abyss of no return when something unexpected happened.
When all the clamor had fully conspired and driven me to a place of desperation, surprisingly, and suddenly, the noise ceased. Peace filled my being like I had never sensed before, ever, and my clarity of mind returned. I was jolted into the present, no longer crippled by what has been, or outcast from the warm light of truth by shadowy thugs.
I really didn’t want to make this too spiritual, on purpose, because when we pile on the high and mighty platitudes it can become more holier than thou, or more like a beating than sweet relief.
The fact is that God’s truth for life is often the weapon that is carelessly wielded to bring harm and destruction to another. The Bible gets used like a bludgeoning implement and not the song of truth that woos the lost soul to freedom.
You know what made all the difference? Love. That’s right, it wasn’t the constant threat of religious right and wrong, or the condemnation of my personal character, it also wasn’t any one singular revelation of truth. It was the miracle that brought freedom before I was hopelessly broken.
It was love.
1 Corinthians 13 (MSG)
The Way of Love
13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
I already knew right from wrong and I had already brought an avalanche of condemnation upon myself, I was buried under the immense weight of my sins. But Jesus, who knew me in all of my woundings and error showed love and compassion in caring for ME, not giving up, but loving me; that is what silenced the rage in my soul.
All the other voices are still there, they will never tire of pointing the finger and continue firing unrelenting accusations, but God’s love has restored me to Him. I am His son, whom He loves, and that alone brings great peace that will deflect all the hatred, resentment, and lies that constantly assault. Gods love will sustain me forever.