I wonder how many times a day I wish I could have a moment’s peace and quiet? Not just from the actual noise of my family, but from the things-to-do, worries, good-ideas and other thoughts that constantly spin around inside my head.
My life is inside-and-out noisy. Good noise mostly just now, but I know from the past that grief, pain, anxiety, disappointment and not being very good at saying no to things can also cause different kinds of overpowering ‘noise’ that I eventually become desperate to escape from and utterly exhausted by.
I said I would write for the next few weeks on some of the ways that having a relationship with Jesus makes a difference to my life. If I had to answer the question ‘What difference does it make having Jesus in your noisy, cluttered, slightly out of control life?’ – this is the picture that comes into my head:
My life is like an LP being played at full volume on the record player my dad gave me when I was 9 years old. It’s loud with no pause button and I mostly love it, but every now and then, I come to God desperate for some respite, and for a moment he carefully lifts the needle from the record and holds me there, out of the noise.
And those moments- of peace, of restoration, of rest – I could no longer live without.
The peace of being lifted out of the noise is not just silence… it’s a stillness, a quietness of heart that somehow enables me to hear the pure, clear song of heavenly places. The voice of God that can so easily be drowned out by the clamour of our everday lives, has the power to lift and restore us, to reset our perspective and slow down our anxious hearts. Hearing it, allowing it to wash over you, leaning back for a moment into God’s arms and listening to the song he sings over you, is inexpressibly beautiful.
And after a little while, sometimes just five minutes, sometimes a bit longer, he gently lowers the needle again and the music begins to play in more or less the place it was in before. The noise resumes, but now my heart is better able to deal with it.
I know that each of you who reads this are living different, complicated, unique lives. The noise you might need to be lifted out of might be very different to mine. Loneliness or boredom can be just as deafening as busyness is. However, I’m equally sure that there is noise that you need to be lifted out of and away from once in a while.
This picture is a promise to each of you. Although the record will probably not stop turning, and your own noise may well still continue for a while; at any time you can call out to him, and God will lift you out into this place of peace. He will hold you so that you can lean into him, he will whisper to you in the stillness, he will sing his song of love over you and he will restore your soul. And then… he will put you back into your noisy world, but with the stillness of heaven in the centre of your heart.