read Luke 7. My father can hardly talk any more. Like a million other Americans, he has Parkinson’s disease, which affects your motor skills but not your intelligence. I was dying to talk to him yesterday, so I called while taxis and trucks rumbled up Park Avenue, which made it even harder to hear him. Every time he tried to speak, I had to say, “sorry, what?” He repeated himself over and over, but I still couldn’t understand him. Then I told him the real reason I had called. I needed advice because I was anxious. I was thinking about doing something that didn’t line up with what God says, because I had lost faith that God would take care of me. Dad said, as clear as a bell, “don’t rush the Lord.”
It was exactly what I needed to hear. It helped me make a better decision the next day, and BOOM, just like that, my anxiety disappeared, and God’s supernatural peace returned.
So how did Dad get out a complete sentence right when I needed it? He did it because he loves me.
It is miracles like this that help us believe the miracles here in Luke. We believe Jesus made the mute speak. We believe that Jesus touched the coffin of a widow’s only son, and “the dead boy sat up and began to talk.” We see how when God’s Spirit touches people, they sit up and talk – no matter how “dead” they were only moments before.
It’s as if we are all radios that are tuned mostly to static. But every now and then, something happens that makes someone turn a dial – and finally beautiful music comes through. We move from empty noise to speaking profound wisdom.
Sometimes we turn the dial to the right channel because we long for things over which we have no control – like the sickness of a beloved servant here. For me, eleven years ago, everything fell apart at the same time – my writing career, my marriage, and the happiness of one of my children – and I surrendered. God eventually did fix those problems that caused me to tune the dial, but what he did right away was fix my radio. He gave me the desire to listen to Him – and more than listen, to obey. Or at least, to want to. Tuning your ears to the right channel allows the beauty of God’s presence to come in every day.
Once we know the sound of God’s voice, we crave it. Every time we veer off course, we can hear the radio dial turn to the right channel, whispering to us of a better way. I think of God’s voice as an internal GPS – NO NO NO DON’T GO THAT WAY PLEASE WHATEVER YOU DO!!! Far too often, our GPS has to say: RECALCULATING. We ignore His voice, and we head at top speed down a dead end.
The good news is, God Himself took the ultimate dead end so that He could always give us other options. God took our punishment on the cross, so He could always offer us forgiveness.
Sometimes, when there’s too much static, God sends us helpers. He makes the mute speak and the dead talk. Why? He helps us for the same reason He touched the casket – because He has compassion. He hates to see us cry, just as we hate to see our children cry. God wants us to be able to enjoy beautiful music all day long.
When we are too much like Simon (the self-righteous religious leader at the end of this chapter) all we can hear is our own static. We become consumed with a senseless internal refrain of pride. The static comes from the lie that we’re better than other people. The longer we journey with Jesus, however, the more we become like the woman here who sits at Jesus’ feet weeping. Our tears clear the static. Our tears bring us to the place where the only thing we want to hear is Him. We weep when we realize the extent of His love, and that His love is not based on our behavior. We weep when we discover He loves us no matter what – just as I heard the extent of my father’s love for me, coming in loud and clear, over all the noise Park Avenue and Parkinson’s could throw at us.
posted by Caroline Coleman in carolinecolemanbooks.com on January 6, 2012