I grew up in a family of opinionated debaters. My mother has a ravenous interest in history and politics, my siblings and I are not quiet people, and my grandparents show up to family gatherings with newspaper clippings.
It makes me absolutely miserable.
Please see above pics of my family as photographic proof that they're very nice, rational people who enjoy a healthy debate without any flinging of the Sunday pot roast or negative epitaphs. See? Normal. Me? Not so much...
Not because I'm a holier-than-thou person. Not because I'm of opposite political leanings. Not for any intelligent, moral issue... No. I can't handle it because of my massive, misplaced empathy. I can't watch most thematic elements in movies (I have the maturity level/movie taste of a seven year old boy. Hellooooo, super hero movies!). A lack of agreement makes my heart ache as I jump back and forth from the different perspectives being presented. I can't handle watching someone else under stress. I absorb it and filter it through my own perspective. I sob all the time when someone else is crying. So, any kind of debate (even the amiable, lively conversations of my family!) just depletes me to a miserable, shaking, stressed-out mess.
Debate team was clearly not my strong suit in high school...
Last week, I was trapped in a doctor's office for three hours as I went through the miserable process of a glucose test. (This baby had better be adorable.) As I was intermittently stuck 5 times, all while being woozy and wanting to pass out from sugar (which I haven't consumed in such massive quantities in forever), The Today Show blared in the background.
The inanity almost killed me. As our world falls apart, you want to talk about someone making pop art from Skittles? Also, who pays for those women's shoes every day? Why do they need such amazing shoes while they're sitting down? Of course, standing in those shoes would probably be more difficult... Man, I love shoes.
Then came commercial breaks. They were pretty much back to back political ads. And the smut, name-calling, lying, and depressing "I'm a creepy serial killer" voice-overs made me want to crawl out of my skin.
I tried reading magazines. They were full of unhappy women claiming that they could "have it all." I know they were unhappy, because according to us "common folks" they do have it all. But "all" is apparently not enough.
Maybe it was the glucose, or the loss of blood, or the random men in the waiting room that were "pro-abortion" and tried to convince a 7+ month pregnant woman that they were "progressive" in their views of women's health (yes, this happened several times)... perhaps it was the TV, or the ads, or magazines, but I stumbled out of that office tired, weepy, and carrying a large bag of misery (along with a raging headache).
Our world is a mess, people.
Our "pop culture" is pointless, our "celebrities" inane, our politicians immoral, and our populace over-exposed to news and yet still undereducated.
And I became scared.
And as I opened my Bible the next morning, my head still throbbing, my heart still heavy, my empathy throbbing for all the pointlessness, the drivel, the name-calling, the immorality... God wrapped me in his truth, and I began to breathe again.
Start at the end... "For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken." I heard a lot of people speaking. Their speech did nothing beyond turn a very hormonal woman into a sobbing mess. But when God speaks, that is all that needs to happen. Words. That's it. His very words are all that are needed. Have we ever had a world leader that can do that? "Talk is cheap." Unless they are words proceeding from the mouth of God.
All he has to do is speak.
"No one shall make them afraid..." I'm battling a lot of fear right now. Fear for my children, fear for our country, fear is crowding upon fear. There is no where I can look in this election that does not fill me with terror. That will not always be the case. Someday, there will come a day when NO ONE can make us fear. NO ONE.
A world without fear.
And there will be peace, and home, and stability. "Every man under his vine and under his fig tree." This comes directly after verse 3, in which God promises an end to war and a beginning of unthreatened prosperity. We need peaceful homes. We need to be able to sit down and rest.
And all this... the world without war, the world without fear, without terror, a world filled with peace and prosperity and resting in safe homes... all this will come to pass because "the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken."
It's coming, friends. Peace is coming.
It's just not here yet. Unless you have anchored your soul to the one Leader who can establish peace with mere words.