Whine-1-1, What’s Your Emergency?
“It is good that a man should both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26
If I were God I would have an automated system in place to handle whining. Every whine would be broadcasted live in hell, serving several purposes. First, the absence of negative words eliminates noise pollution in the throne room. Second, the inhabitants of hell now have something else to complain about (as if being there is not enough). When we think our life is a living hell, anyone there will trade places with us in a heartbeat. I doubt the misery in hell would love the company of hearty, robust whines. For the record, I am not making light of, or dismissing dire circumstance people find themselves in, but the residents of hell would gladly give up the real deal for anything we face here.
Lamentations tell us it is good to wait quietly for God’s salvation. The words wait quietly in the original Hebrew mean just that; be silent as you wait for salvation to manifest. Psalm 45:1 states, “my tongue is the pen of a skilled writer.” According to Jewish scholars every word a person speaks is inscribed in the record book of Heaven, so the tongue truly functions as a pen. Jesus said we would have to account for every idle word we speak (Matthew ). I think I need a BIG ink eraser.
What is the benefit of keeping our mouths firmly shut? Proverbs reminds us, “the tongue has the power of life and death.” Our words, like God’s, have creative power. The Israelites crossed the
Jordan River and entered the Promised Land;
they were finally home. One small obstacle stood between them and all the
benefits the land afforded-the inhabitants. The first stop Jericho
was a well fortified walled city. In the natural, taking the city was impossible,
if you didn’t factor God into the equation. Joshua 6:2-5 recounts God’s battle
plan for conquering the city. For six days the armed men, seven priests blowing
trumpets and the Levites responsible for carrying the Ark of the Covenant made
a lap around Jericho. On the
seventh day, this process was repeated seven times. During the last lap, when
the people heard the long blast from the trumpet they were to shout as loud as
possible. According to God, if these instructions were precisely followed,
victory was guaranteed. Sounds preposterous, unless you understand Quantum Physics
and frequencies, and I don’t. In verse 10 Joshua gave the people a very unusual
order. “Do not give a war cry, do no
raise your voices, do not say a word (emphasis
mine) until the day I tell you to shout!”
For most of those seven days God had peace and quiet. No moaning and groaning, no complaints and negative comments about how crazy His plan seemed. Until the appointed time for shouting the people quietly awaited God’s salvation; all doubts, fears and questions silenced. The power of negative words to magnify any perceived lunacy of the plan, causing this generation to repeat the mistake of their predecessors was neutralized. Almost seven days of total silence is a miracle in itself. Somehow they managed to pull it off. When the time came to shout they did, and the walls fell down.
The verse in Lamentations says in addition to waiting silently, we also should hope. This verse is the only place that particular translation of the word hope is found. The root of the word is to dance, twist, writhe or twirl about. Verbs, such as this, which have significance to binding or twisting indicate strength and denote firmness. Hope here is not wishful thinking, but strong, confident expectation. When one is fully assured of God’s ability to save, the matter is settled, there’s nothing more to say.
But what if I’m not there? What if fear and doubt have me in a vise grip? What if I’m facing my own
Jericho and the
prospects of success look slim to none? Go back to basics. What has God told me
to do? If I’m not sure, I need to spend time with Him and get reacquainted with
His plan of action. How do I take time when I am under pressure? Like the Nike
ads say, “Just Do It!”
What I don’t do is just as important. I don’t go around speaking negative words about my situation. These reinforce and empower the mental images I formulate and believe. “As I think in my heart, so am I”. I remember I’ve read something like that in the Bible (Proverbs 23:7 paraphrase). It can take every ounce of strength and self control to keep a guard on my mouth. My emotions will clamor for an opportunity to vent my frustrations and fears. If I do, I’ll feel better temporarily, and reinforce the walls of my
Jericho. No matter
what, I need to learn to quietly wait for the salvation of my God and above
all, not call Whine-1-1.