Echoes From the Campfire

The sun, the rain, the wind let nothing alone, but they worry at it, smooth it and rough it again until it is their own.  I was like that, myself.  A man shaped by storms and hot suns, but most of all by the storms I kept buried inside…”
              –Louis L’Amour  (The First Fast Draw)

    “You lift me up on the wind and make me ride it; You scatter me in the storm.”
              –Job 30:22 (HCSB)
There is so much noise out there.  People are shouting, “Listen to me,” but none of them really have anything to say.  They riot, destroy, hurt and maim others.  People shout and clamor, but they are trying to silence or drown out the voice of disturbance.  What they are really looking for is a quiet heart.  The media, politicians, entertainers vie for our attention and want us to hop on the bandwagon of their agenda.  But do they really know what it is?  For many of them it is power, fame, money, prestige, any or all of them.  “Anyone who is truly Christian will never take people merely as they appear to be, but will feel a great sense of sorrow for men and women who are trying vainly to find the quiet heart by refusing to think.” (Lloyd-Jones)
    The Millennials and Generation Z have fallen headlong for the Postmodernist claims.  But don’t be too harsh on them, for even us old Boomers tend to compromise and become complacent.  They do not accept the authority of Scripture, and my generation has become complacent about the authority of God’s Word.  “We canot mix the Gospel of Jesus Christ with anything else, it is either this or nothing.  No compromise, no coalition is possible.” (Lloyd-Jones)  To have a truly calm, quiet heart you must grasp totally to God.  He wants total allegiance.
    What can be expected when a person tends to get immersed in the world, especially someone who claims to be a Christian?  The peace will be gone, the anxiety will start to set in, and then they will begin to question God.  It is vital that we realize that we cannot become as the world and be immersed in it; we are in the world, but not part of it.  People who get absorbed with themselves and their wants will not obtain a quiet heart.  This comes when we look to God and recognize that life should be about Him.
    At times we might battle with faith.  Faith seems to be a simplicity that is complex.  People struggle for faith and yet God has already given each of us a measure of faith and wants it to grow.  I think of Thomas, and how he is so maligned by us.  

             “Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.’
             Thomas responded to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!'”
                         –John 20:27-28 (HCSB)

Once Thomas did that the storm that raged in his soul calmed.  Peace came along with faith.  We need to believe that into the midst of the turmoil and the chaos and the unhappiness and the misery of this sinful world, Jesus Christ has come.  We need to realize that in the midst of the hurt, toil, pain, and suffering of our hearts the Lord has come to calm our soul.  Jesus came to give us a quiet heart!  
    The talk is about having a relationship.  But much of the time that relationship is like a person might have with a stuffed animal that sits on the bed.  A person hugs it for comfort, but the heart is still in turmoil.  Jesus brings God into a living relationship, not just a “Linus’ blanket.”  Yes, the world is in turmoil because they fight against the One who could give them peace.  I can never truly be at peace until I am in the right relationship to God, and the only one who can put me in right relationship is the Lord Jesus Christ.  With that and the storms we either carry or find ourselves in, we will find that Jesus always has the time to take our troubles.