The afternoon was exquisite as we rested on our beach towels and the kids paddled away in their kayaks.
Not everyone has an entire shed full of wet suits and water toys, along with the energy to share it all with numerous families all summer long. But my friend Julie was a generous host, and kept the door to her little lake house open much of the summer to eager kids and wet bodies dripping water over her floor as they headed to the bathroom.
I wondered who had the pleasure of scrubbing that toilet when the days were over. Most likely, her.
Her little place could have been quiet, still, orderly. All the better for no wear and tear, but here she was, handing out cold lemonade and letting everyone use her everything.
I loved hearing her talk about the studies she and her husband led on marriage and child training. This lady had a heart for the hearts of others, and it showed in every way.
But my boy and his little friend fought a lot that day, and on the way home, my other friend and I demanded utter silence because our heads were ringing with unwanted conflict for most of the afternoon. We turned on the music and drove quietly—because sometimes, little boys happen on such a mood that if a single word escapes little lips, it is ugly.
Silence is better than ugly, but silence is not better than joy.
Psalm 93:17 says, “If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.”
As we drove in silence, I watched other ladies facing my car when we all paused at the red light. The first looked as if she’d been crying; the second, as if she knew the weight of the world would rest on her shoulders as soon as she reached her destination.
And I wondered, where was the joy—for all of us? Because life can silence us, but only God can release us into full joy.
Only the God soul knows the joy life.
If God had not released my own heart, I’d be in silence somewhere behind the bars of condemnation, guilt, and fear. But He said to me as He said to Lazarus that day, “Sara, come forth!” [John 11:43, NKJV]
He broke my old Sara chains and called me out. Out of silence into giving life; out of guilt into freedom; out of fear into faith; out of despair into joy; out of co-dependence into confident living.
He calls you out, too.
Soul, what is gripping you? Of what are you afraid? What clutches at your neck each day, stopping the joy you want to inhale?
If you think others are hindering that inhale of joy, you are wrong. Because the power of the cross is greater than another sinful human, and the breath you get to receive from the Spirit of Christ is a greater inhalation of life than the other finite lives you want to depend on.
Those lives have no power to give a single breath, the Other Life created each breath you breathe.
I soaked it in at the noisy, happy place by the lake, grateful for a friend who shared her everything with us that day. And I knew beyond doubt that there’s an even Greater Friend Who is with me, sharing His everything each minute, each hour, each season.
The Life we get to breathe from is Infinite, not limited to finite humans who sin, just like us.
We only need to chose which air we breath. Breathe in the joy, and break your soul out of silence!