Josprel's Articles of Faith - Quiet Moments with God
Writer Author Josprel (Joseph Perrello)
- Fiction No
"You don't want the radio on this morning do you, honey?" my wife, Marie, asked.
Usually, during breakfast, we listen to the news, but this Monday we added the bonus of a quiet meal to our devotions.
The previous day we conducted services at a church across the city. Spring road repairs made traveling hectic. Though we allowed ample time to arrive unhurriedly, the detour mazes repeatedly routed us into the heart of the city. Finally, a patrol car officer directed us to the expressway. Somewhat frazzled and in need of another quiet moment with God, we reached our destination. Sitting quietly in our car for several minutes, we worshiped silently and the tenseness dissipated, replaced with God's peace. Refreshed for the service, we entered the church.
A hectic lifestyle is the accepted norm today. A friend of ours, newly transferred to another state by his company, was appalled at housing costs in the new locale. The Realtor informed him the high costs were due to the demand created by the bedroom community's close proximity to New York City, only a one and one half hours ride by commuter train. For many, such commutes are the norm.
I recently traveled the outbound lanes of an expressway, where inbound vehicles were in a bumper-to-bumper, three abreast, crawl into the city. Tracking the situation for more than nine miles, I commented to my companion that an accident probably had occurred. He said that such traffic was normal for that time of day. It's considered normal today for three lanes of traffic over nine miles long, to travel bumper-to-bumper at crawl speed!
We all can cite comparable accounts illustrating that our society finds it impossible to relax. The tension factor is this generation's accepted norm. Not immune to the standard, Christians also feel such pressures; therefore, in addition to personal and family devotions, we habitually should replenish our spirits, at convenient intervals, by quiet moments with God. We can enjoy such unregimented moments anywhere.
Believers in gentler eras understood the value of quiet moments with God. Long ago, an anonymous writer penned words apt to our times: "There is a restlessness and a fretfulness in these days, which stand like two granite walls against godliness. Contentment is almost necessary to godliness, and godliness is absolutely necessary to contentment. A very restless man will never be very godly, and a very godly man will never be a very restless man. 'Be still and know that I am God.'"
In the 1800's C. H. Spurgeon, quoting Matthew Poole, wrote that the still waters of Psalm 23 "...are opposed to great rivers, which both affright the sheep with their noise, and expose them to the danger of being carried away by their swift and violent streams, whilst they are drinking from them."
The Apostle Paul noted that, for Christians to avoid society's debilitating tides, it would be necessary to "...go out of the world"(I Cor. 5:10). This being so, the noise and dangers of modern "violent streams" sometimes do "affright" us. By entering often into the quietness of our Shepherd's pastures, we permit His Presence to assuage the strains and tensions our times produce.
Jesus scheduled periodic rest from intense activity for His disciples. His words, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while," highlight the soul's quest for quiet moments (Mark 6:31 NKJ). Solitary times received a high priority from Jesus. His custom of retreating into quietness with His Father emphasizes this need in each of us. If the Master required quiet moments, how much more do we?
Austin Miles (1868 - 1946) composer of the beloved hymn classic, "In the Garden," wrote that he began his quiet times with God "... while the dew is still on the roses..." and extended them until nightfall. Most likely, modern lifestyles make such a schedule impossible for most Christians. Nevertheless, as we glean frequent, daily intervals for quietness with God, we still may withdraw from these hypertensive times to hear His voice. During these quiet moments, wherever we are is transformed into a garden of fellowship. And, there, He assures us we are His own.
© Josprel (Joseph Perrello)
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