Our Daily Bread
- READ: Mark 1:35-45
I have calmed and quieted my soul. —Psalm 131:2
My next record should be 45 min- utes of silence,” said singer Meg
Hutchinson, “because that’s what we’re missing most in society.”
Silence is indeed hard to find. Cities are notoriously noisy due to the high
concentration of traffic and people. There seems to be no escape from
loud music, loud machines, and loud voices. But the kind of noise that
endangers our spiritual well-being is not the noise we can’t escape but
the noise we invite into our lives. Some of us use noise as a way of
shutting out loneliness: voices of TV and radio personalities give us
the illusion of companionship. Some of us use it as a way of shutting
out our own
thoughts: other voices and opinions keep us from having to think for
ourselves. Some of us use noise as a way of shutting out the voice of
God: constant chatter, even when we’re talking about God, keeps us from
hearing what God has to say.
But Jesus, even during His busiest times, made a point of seeking out
places of solitude where He could carry on a conversation with God (Mark 1:35). Even if we can’t find a place that is perfectly quiet, we need
to find a place to quiet our souls (Ps. 131:2), a place where God has
our full attention. —Julie Ackerman Link
For Further Study
For more on this topic, read the online booklet
Mary & Martha:
Balancing Life’s Priorities
Don’t let the noise of the world keep you from hearing the voice of the Lord.
- READ: Psalm 22:1-8,19-26
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! —Psalm 22:26
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is
Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart-breaking words
that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry
out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O
my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why
it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to
David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a
characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency.
Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy
(vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt). —Dave Branon
Lord, sometimes I feel as if You don’t care about
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
Even when we don’t sense God’s presence, His loving care is all around us.