Deafening Silence

Zephaniah 3:17

17 “The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

silence

 

One thing I’ve never claimed to be is a theologian…and I’m o.k. with that! God and I have awesome talks and the Holy Spirit reveals such amazing truths through the Word, which is alive! I came across this passage today at just the right time and wanted to share some thoughts.

I’ve always known that God is with me. I truly do not doubt His magnificent presence in and around me. But…truth be told…the silence can be deafening. Some times I wonder as I sit unmoved on the Potter’s wheel, “Lord, what will you make of me today?…Lord?! Do you hear me?” I find myself sitting on the Master’s wheel waiting to hear His foot press against the pedal igniting the spinning wheel. I yearn to feel the breath that sparked life into man upon my heart as it brings comfort. I anticipate the Potter’s skillful hands shaping a vessel requiring painful trimming at times but the result is priceless in the end.

I sit and ask, “Lord, do you want me to be a basin today? I’ll take the dirt from those around me as long as you give me strength to help me impart the cleansing power of encouragement. Wait, maybe a cup, Lord. Fill me up and allow me to overflow your love onto those around me. Hum, let me think…a vase! Yes, Lord, I am willing to be an open container where you are glorified and shown for all to see.”

Yet, I wait! You see, I’ve been those things before. I know how to operate easily in the world of “basins, cups, and vases.” In the deafening silence, I have found myself begging God to build me into something familiar…something I could easily control to gain peace…ah…not Godly peace but worldly peace. That’s where we all fail.

So the question truly remains, “Do we/I really trust the Potter’s hand?” Based on the passage above, I want to change my perspective and I ask that you do the same! Let us bask in knowing that God is always with us because His Spirit lives in us. I will rest in knowing that my God may show His love in quiet times and also rejoice over me with shouts of joy.

I encourage you to always remember that there is no greater love than God sending His only Son, Jesus, to die for us while we were still sinners. Therefore, even in the deafening silence, I know I am loved. Stay on the wheel my dear friends! The greatest deception from our enemy is to make you believe that God is finished with you. Don’t ever believe that your wheel is not moving…what will He make of you now?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

It Won’t Help!

Matthew 6:27

“27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

The doctor closes the exam door leaving a depleted man and his hopeful spouse to contemplate the plan of care proposed for the next six weeks. The prayerful yet cautious bride finally speaks up. She walks over and grabs her husband’s hand yet it wasn’t the same. The strong hands that once held her while she delivered their three children years ago now appear weak and worn. She gently squeezes in hopes of initiating a powerful return yet his eyes speak a different story – tired and defeated. 

Just as he closes his eyes, she longs for the days of driving with the top down through the Rocky Mountains while singing old country songs, dancing in the kitchen when the kids were all asleep because it was more fun than washing a sink full of dishes, and sitting poolside reading a book and talking about the future. 

She is quickly drawn back to reality when she hears the doctor clear his throat from across the room. She thinks, “When did he come back in? I didn’t hear him enter?” The doctor says, “Have you all given some thought to the plan of care?” She collapses in anxiety as the weight of the world and the hopes for their family crumble around her. “No,” she answers, “We haven’t been able to talk; he’s just too tired.” As the doctor turns to walk away, she manages to grab the corner of his medical coat. He turns his head while his body remains opposed. He says, “Yes, do you have a question?” She embraces him without return and whispers, “I worry about him day and night! I can’t eat or sleep. What do you mean he only has three months to live? I will waste away worrying so you must promise me that he will get better.” 

The doctor who initially appeared to have very little empathy removed a small Bible from his jacket pocket and said, “I too received some bad news today but couldn’t leave my job. You see, my grandmother passed away today, and I will miss her funeral this week. I loved her like a second mother! I cling to the cross and to the hope we have in Christ to keep my feet moving, one step at a time. For the Word tells us that all our worries won’t add a single hour to our lives so I give it all back to Him in full surrender; it’s truly the only thing left I can do.” 

With tear-filled eyes, he hands her the Bible, and he walks away. She gently holds the Word as she sits at the bedside watching her soulmate rest. She opens the Bible and reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). 

As she closes her eyes to pray she hears her husband whisper, “Dear, what are you doing?” She replies with a reverent heart, “I’m releasing all my worries to God for tomorrow is a new day and we will rejoice for He is good no matter our outcome.” At just that moment, the husband says, “You finally understand my love, and now we can truly live!” 

Thought: Life is filled with stress, disaster, twists, and turns. How will you respond? 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Overcomer

John 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

overcomer

God shows up in all situations, conversations, experiences, and relationships. Do you truly believe that? I do! For starters, He is omnipresent; He is truly everywhere! You cannot find a place where God cannot reach you physically, emotionally, or spiritually for He stitched you together in His image. You were created by perfect hands! You have a purpose and your gifts are unique to His mission. Can we just say–amazing God!

God is also omnipotent as there is no other force more powerful than God. His power is limitless…I implore you to pause – hit the rewind button and simply claim that one more time! His power is LIMITLESS! As you speak truth, there is strength building up inside of you because being a child of God is more than a special blessing; it’s an honor that cannot be contained. Finally, God is omniscient. There is absolutely nothing that takes Him by surprise! Now—exhale!

I was blessed to see God in three conversations today. Don’t miss the importance in that initial sentence. I strive, as imperfect as I am, to see God in all encounters. I ask myself, “What do You want me to learn from this conversation, meeting, interaction Lord?” Often I fail because I can be rather egocentric, task-oriented, and simply impatient. This flesh-oriented focus pulls me away from my mission which is simply His mission – imparting the love of Christ and sharing the good news of Jesus whenever and however I can.

However, after a very spiritually uplifting morning where my small group spent time edifying each other through Scripture and words of encouragement, I felt as though I was fully charged and ready to take on the day. What did I encounter through these very meaningful conversations? I found a common theme. We all hurt…I pause because my spirit groans. We are all currently suffering or have suffered in this life! As human beings, we are not all that different dear friends. Our hearts long for love and acceptance. We struggle with fear, anxiety, the unknown, painful addictions, battles, and loneliness. Yet, our face—yes, our face tells a different story.

We wake up each morning and sift through a drawer of masks trying to find just the right one; the mask that will hide the hurt we are carrying! We pass colleagues in the hallways and smile just praying that our masks are not unveiled. We worry, “Did they notice? Is it still on?” I couldn’t help but appreciate Necole Allen’s Facebook message when she mentioned that her face can tell her mood before she speaks. I truly can relate!! I am one who cannot wear masks well either. Yes, I try them on, but they seem to fall off rather quickly! I guess I haven’t learned how to tie them well. In fact, my face tends to “get me in trouble” well before my tongue.

Truth be told, we are all struggling, and we are all holding onto something in the past. Yet, my God is a deliverer and a healer! I emptied my “mask drawer” long ago and I beg you to do the same. Jesus is the best example of an overcomer any believer could hope for! Not only did He overcome every temptation, He overcame death in order to bring us life! YES AND AMEN! That is enough to send you rejoicing and dancing for joy. I hear chains falling, do you?

TAKE THE MASKS OFF FRIENDS! Satan has an army manufacturing them and supplying you fancy ones, but they are still chains! BREAK THE CHAINS through Christ.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta