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Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Black Hole

Kind of feel like you are crying into a "black hole" at times?  When you are there, do you feel like you are getting much out of that "hole"?  Probably not - so why do you keep crying?  Isn't it because you know no matter how "black" the "hole" seems, you know there is light just around the corner?  Deafening silence can do a number on our head, can't it?  We just don't do well in silence - we like to hear noise of some kind!  If you have ever been around people who enjoy silence, you might just feel a little uncomfortable trying to "conform" to the silence.  It is in those moments you realize how much your stomach growls, your breath gets taken in with a subtle whistle in your nose, and your swallowing sounds like you are ingesting a dry ball of yarn!  All these "sounds" make us a little self-conscious, so we try to "mask" them with a little noise.  I wonder if we do the same thing when it comes to getting silent with God - his silence (and ours) make us just a little too "self-conscious" and we squirm a little as a result.

Don’t turn a deaf ear when I call you, God.  If all I get from you is deafening silence, I’d be better off in the Black Hole.  I’m letting you know what I need, calling out for help and lifting my arms toward your inner sanctum.  Blessed be Godhe heard me praying.  He proved he’s on my side; I’ve thrown my lot in with him.  Now I’m jumping for joy,and shouting and singing my thanks to him. God is all strength for his people, ample refuge for his chosen leader; save your people and bless your heritage.  Care for them; carry them like a good shepherd.  (Psalm 28:1-2; 6-9 MSG)

Too many times we think we need God to listen to us, when in truth, we need to listen to him!  Listening means we first incline our ear, then we open our heart.  In turn, we pay attention and we don't miss what is being shared. When we are too "self-conscious", we probably aren't listening very well.  We don't want to be "found out", so we try to mask what we are self-conscious about with a little "noise".  God isn't fooled by our "noise" - he is moved into action by our silence!  We call, then we need to just settle in for him to answer - listening means we actually settle in for a while because communication occurs in time, not instantly.

When we ask God to bend his ear toward what we are saying, we are asking him to incline his ear - a more accurate way of saying this is that we are asking God to fasten himself on our every word - spoken and unspoken.  Yep, even the unspoken ones - because he knows the intent of the heart even when it isn't spoken!  By bending toward us, he is not submitting to us, but he is guiding us into a place where our communication with him actually can become free-flowing and intimate.  When you call someone closer to share something, you don't want the whole world to know what you are sharing - you are sharing something only that person needs to hear. 

In this position, God can let us in on his truths.  The real things he wants to share with us only come as we are inclined toward him.  We have lots and lots of truth - some shared by our fathers, other shared at our mother's knee - but none is as good as the counsel from the one who knows our heart inside and out.  Yet, we miss out on this intimate sharing because we cannot keep silent long enough to catch what is being said.  If you have ever tried to listen when someone is whispering into your ear, a lot of background noise will not make it easy to catch what is being said.  Some of us need to learn how to shut off the background noise in our lives - some of which we create ourselves just because we don't like being "self-conscious" in the silence!

Maybe we need to be a little more conscious about "self", for it is "self" which gets us into such binds at times and keeps us in turmoil at others.  It might just be "self" which gets us crying into the "black hole" in desperation because what we created on our own, in our own timing, or by our own stubborn will is just not panning out so well for us.  Rather than cursing the "black hole" of seeming silence from God, maybe we'd be well-served to allow the "black hole" to lead us to "incline" our ear a little closer to the one who needs to speak into our lives.  Just sayin!