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Guest Blogger: Gena Lakeman – Can You Speak Up a Little, I Can’t Hear You!

Holiday parties are coming up, and with them come old friends, good food, lots of laughter and a struggle to make out anything anyone is saying. It is called the cocktail party problem, and I, for one, have noticed it creeping its way into my life more and more. The cocktail party problem is an interesting phenomenon where you are standing in the middle of a cocktail party, trying to have a conversation with someone just a couple feet away from you, but you cannot hear but every few words the other person is saying. It is just too noisy to hear the conversation from the person you are directly talking to, standing right next to you.
Now, imagine your day to day life. Breakfast, kids, work, school, morning news, rushing to where you need to be, listening to the radio, having conversations in the car, meetings all day, rushing home, radio on, dinner time, television blaring in the background, exercise with the iPod playing or the TV on, bedtime, TV still on, too exhausted to do anything more, crash in bed, hoping for restful sleep. Too much noise!
As it is with the cocktail party problem, when we have so many things going on in our lives, when there is noise at every turn, it is overwhelmingly difficult to discern the voice of God. God often speaks to us in whispers, in the wind, in the silence, but if we never rest in silence, meditating on God and who he is, how will we ever hear him? If we cannot make out a friend talking to us a couple feet away in a noisy room, how will we be able to hear and know the voice of God talking to us in the midst of a noisy life?
God says “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
A few years ago, I was pregnant with my daughter. I had a very difficult pregnancy, and was on bedrest for 4 months. When my daughter was born, she was nine weeks early, and had a lot of physical issues because my water broke when I was only seventeen weeks pregnant. She lived less than one day, and it was the most difficult trial of my life. I remember sitting at my kitchen counter one day shortly after she had died. My house was quiet. Too quiet. I was missing the sounds that should have been there. A crying baby, cooing, giggling. I hung my head and felt so sorry for myself, telling myself that the house should have this noise I expected. It was crushing. But, right at that moment, I heard the voice of God say to me, “Be still, and know that I am God. I am here, in this silence, in this quiet.”
You see, my friends, in these all too busy lives that we lead, it is nearly impossible to find God. But, quiet time, alone with him, is so important. God taught me a valuable lesson that day at my kitchen counter. He taught me that when I seek him in the quietness of my life, when I go to a place of stillness and solitude, He will be there, and will reveal Himself to me in amazing ways. The quiet, the stillness, although maybe uncomfortable at first, is good for my soul.
As it is with you. Being still in the presence of the Lord is good for your soul. Do not even give the cocktail party problem an opportunity to present itself in your relationship with God. Just go to a quiet room, and be alone with him. The distractions will be gone, and you will be able to focus on the one true God and hear his still, small voice.
(To read more about the cocktail party problem, click here.)
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