|photo courtesy of freepik.com|
Okay, here comes my confession. I have a noise sensitivity. No big deal, right? Well, let me be more precise. I go through periods of time when I can hear every noise imaginable not to mention every noise unimaginable. I can hear noises coming from multiple directions. I can hear little noises nobody else can hear. And I can hear big noises others can tune out. And I can hear every dog bark, every dog whimper, whine, and, did I mention I have 16 dogs in my care? I can hear the extremely loud industrial business that parked itself right near my property. And I can still hear it even though it moved down the road. I can hear the dump trucks back up at 6 in the morning with their BEEPING noises.
What dump trucks? The ones that decided to make a parking lot of where the industrial business used to be before it hauled off down the road. In fact, it seems to be all one big business – with its noise now coming from TWO different directions. Perfect for my noise sensitivity, eh? Yes, in case you are wondering, I can hear them from inside my house with the doors and windows shut – morning, day, night, or weekend, whenever they choose to back up and BEEP BEEP BEEP. I can hear a dog banging its tail against the crate that makes a whistling sort of sound. Did you notice they can do that with their tails? My ears notice. And did I say that sometimes I feel like there are a thousand finger nails scratching themselves across the chalkboard – all at once? Why, oh why, would I have a noise sensitivity like this?
It depends who you ask. Satan would tell you it’s his perfect opportunity to get me so distracted, to get me spinning in circles to catch all the noises, and irritable and angry to boot, that I can’t focus on God and do the work He has called me to do. And Satan would tell you that even when I do the work God has called me to do, getting upset about all the noises is a great way to make a mess of everything because I’m too upset to walk in God’s love and to do His work with the right heart and attitude.
Of course, the mental health world could have a field day over my noise sensitivity also. But I’ll let the mental health world keep its opinions to the text books.
Then there is my opinion, as if that really matters in the grand scheme of things. I believe it is a combination of post traumatic stress disorder (no, I don’t need to go into the details) topped off with never sleeping altogether well, working exceedingly hard, and sometimes a hormone or two thrown in to the mix. And what a mix it is! Do they make silent blenders? Because mixing ingredients like these together can stir up an orchestra that’s totally off key. For anyone familiar with post traumatic stress disorder, suffice it to say some things can set a person off – way off, for that matter. So on top of the whole noise thing, I have been known to become anxious, irritable, angry, and yes, when I don’t have my flesh under subjection, raging angry. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen all the time. And thanks be to God for His mercy each time I come to Him confessing my anger and what I have done with it when I have fallen back into it. Oh, I thank Him for His mercy!
So now why would I take the time to tell the world about my noise sensitivity? For one reason alone. Because I believe many, if not all, can relate to what I have taken it upon myself to come up with as the absolutely only – and most wonderful – solution. God should take away all the noises! Of course, right? Wouldn’t that solve my problem? In fact, I wouldn’t mind it if He also took away the noise sensitivity. And, if you can believe it, I have actually gone to great lengths at times to get the noises to stop. Nothing like calling the government, county council, and police on different occasions to ask them if they can PLEASE get this company that makes all the industrial noise in a residential area to MOVE and haul their noise off with them?! Now, don’t get me wrong. I am well aware that these noises, some of them anyway, are likely disturbing a lot more people than me. But it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if I am the one most disturbed by the noises because of my sensitivity to noise in the first place.
So what does God have to say about all this? Now that I am long past God using my circumstances years ago to change my heart, He wouldn’t possibly take it upon Himself to use this latest – and ongoing – challenge – to further refine me as He answers my prayer to be conformed to the image of Christ. Did I really say that prayer? Admittedly, yes. After all, I do want to do the right thing. And I do desire to love and serve Him with all my heart, and to please Him by becoming holy as He has called believers in Jesus to be. But can’t He answer my prayer to grow in His image in an easier manner? Without all the noise? Seriously. Come on, God. Please! Pretty please.
Answer? NO WAY. So what does one do when God says NO WAY. Easy answer. Well, not so easy. But I should know this by now. And I do. I just don’t want to always look at it. I, and we, need to trust God. God is sovereign. He knows what He is doing. ALWAYS. Without exception. And sometimes God won’t take away our circumstances because He truly is using them to test our faith, to change our hearts, to refine us, to grow us in His image, to conform us to Christ’s image, to transform our lives, and to bring Him glory at the end of the day.
When God says NO WAY, we need to trust Him. And if we are willing to go one step further, which I have just been reminded to do even as I write this, we should say THANK YOU.
Yes, thank you God. Because you really know what is best. Use these circumstances, use this situation, to change me so I can truly be the woman you have created me to be. Thank you for this opportunity for you to try my faith, and please give me the strength and endurance to persevere. Help me to be humble, and, even this very day, even as the noises of the world scream in my ears, may I bring you glory! Amen!
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.