A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Cardinal in snow (photo by Cerwin High)
There's rumor among the bird population that the cardinal family is not wearing their masks properly as instructed by the CBDC (Centers for Bird Disease Control); they insist on wearing black masks with a hole in the middle so their beaks remain visible and they are thus a danger to the entire bird population.
"When God Seems Silent"
Message summary: Today we want to especially encourage our readers who are dealing with a period of waiting and at the present time God seems silent.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"God, do not remain quiet; Do not be silent and, God, do not be still" (Psalm 83:1). "God of my praise, do not be silent!" (Psalm 109:1). “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them” (Psalm 145:18,19). “He hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29). "His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes" (Psalm 112:8).
Early this morning it began snowing and snow is forecast steadily through tomorrow morning with a projected total of 6-10 inches. It's a gentle snow with little wind. I was out for a few minutes this morning doing chores and one of the distinctives of this kind of snow is it's tendency to dampen noise. Although it's relatively quiet out here in the country the gently falling snow makes it even more so. Apart from the occasional car going by you can hardly hear anything. Even the planes going into Harrisburg International Airport are very muffled.
Silence is often desirable. It's very pleasant to step outside this morning to the snow-induced silence. Some people sleep better when it's silent and of course special headphones can be purchased for this, as well as "white noise" machines.
But there are forms of silence that bring sadness, even despair. I was reading a history of the Bethlehem Steel Mill which was very loud and the noise could easily be heard 24/7 in the homes of those who lived in the neighborhood. A man told a story from his childhood when he complained to his dad, a steelworker, about how loud the mill was. His dad told him one day that mill will close and then you will see how sad the silence is. He followed his father as a steelworker and was there when the mill closed in the mid-nineties and experienced the despair of silence his father had foretold.
Consider in your own life the sadness that silence can bring. Perhaps it's the absence of a loved one that has brought silence into your home. Their sounds, which perhaps could be even annoying at times, are now desperately missed.
But today let us consider when God seems silent. Have you ever experienced that? When we pray we thankfully at times have experienced immediate answers to our prayers, but at other times we must accept by faith that God hears us; that He really is there even though His response is not immediate and He may even seem silent.
The first two texts are from the Psalms and express an urgency that most all of us can certainly identify with: "God, do not remain quiet; Do not be silent and, God, do not be still" (Psalm 83:1). "God of my praise, do not be silent!" (Psalm 109:1).
We want to especially encourage all readers who are dealing with a period of waiting and at the present time God seems silent. You’ve prayed about a matter, perhaps time and time again, but you continue to wait. It may seem as if God is silent and at times even absent from the scene. But we can have confidence that He does hear our prayers and will indeed "fulfill the desire of those who fear Him" and "in the end we will look in triumph on our foes".
Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation,
Hearken unto the voice of my cry,
My King and my God;
For unto Thee will I pray,
My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning.
O Lord, in the morning
Will I direct my prayer
Unto Thee, and will look up.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, show me how to capture my thoughts and train them to focus on You, to trust in You, and to wait on You. Chisel away at the fears and doubts that clamor for my attention during the wait, block the voices of those who contribute to my hesitancy to believe wholeheartedly, and keep my eyes fixed on the heavenward calling I received upon the day of my salvation. I want my heart to be secure and I want to squelch any fears that arise so that in the end I will look in triumph on my foes and give testimony to Your overcoming power in my life, not only in the "ups" of this journey but even in the "downs" I didn't prefer. All glory be to God! Amen.
Brooksyne's note: The snow storm has arrived. We are well supplied with food and water and we are prepared to hunker down for a few days if needed. We have many readers from Texas and other southern states that have been hit hard with the wintry weather and are dealing with limited to no electricity, and lack of tools and equipment to deal with the snow and ice. We pray that over the next day or two the higher temperatures will return and that residents will once again be comfortable and safe.
Stephen's note: Later this morning the snow is accompanied by sleet which creates another pleasant sound, especially as the sleet hits the dried oak leaves on our front trees!
We were pleased to read this morning that one of our company owners, Chris Leaman, will be a part of a group of business leaders here in Pennsylvania participating in a round-table discussion, "The road ahead: Pennsylvania’s energy future". Leaders from across Pennsylvania’s energy industry, representing solar, gas, coal, and wind, provide their insights and perspectives on the future of their respective fields and the state’s energy landscape at large.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Give Ear To My Words O Lord (Psalm 5)" Video Maranatha! Music Bill Sprouse
"I Will Wait For You (Psalm 130)" Video Shane & Shane
Our two larger photos today were taken by Cerwin and Doris High, are friends who live here in Lancaster County. Cerwin took the cardinal photo and Doris took this photo of her feeders reminding me of a chore. Among my (Stephen's) chores is keeping the bird feeders full, especially during the snow. However a frustration is that sometimes it seems more like they're squirrel feeders since they out smart every trick I've used to whirl them away from feeders and off to the many piles of acorns spread on the ground!!!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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