“Alexa, turn on bubbling brook.”
This last week Gary and I took care of our grand puppies. Sammy and Emily enjoyed a week away, so we took charge of Hope and Meshach. Hope weighs nearly 50 pounds and runs with very long legs while Meshach barely tips the scale at 10 pounds (when soaking wet) with legs a fraction the size of Hope’s. Thought they are as different as two dogs can be, they exhibit a deep connection with one another.
Hope and Meshach live with boundless energy, often running in circles playfully barking, chasing, and moaning at each other. At times it is as though Hope and Meshach are bouncing off the walls. So, when it came time to help these active dogs calm down and rest in their kennels, the sounds of a bubbling brook came to our aid.
Just as sound machines aid people in sleep, the gurgling sounds from the Amazon Alexa device enable these lively dogs to rest. The bubbling brook tones both slowed and settled Hope and Meshach’s energetic bodies. Perhaps the bubbling brook sounds remind them of fishing with Sammy and Emily which arouses soothing connection to special times.
Bubbling – Containing bubbles of air or gas rising to the surface. To be still, overflow, filled, or to run over.
When I meet with individuals for soul care and spiritual direction my opening prayer often invites God to “bubble” to the surface the areas He desires to offer His tender attention. God graciously bubbles within the soul the ways He longs to meet and bring about His focused attention. The bubbling and stirring within our inner being rise when we slow down and embrace stillness from all that beckons attention. In the quiet, the Holy Spirit bubbles to the surface making His presence known in the faith journey.
Silence ushers in the slowing and settling of the soul, so that we can notice what is bubbling up. Too frequently, noise and distraction surround each of us in society. Paying attention to the movements of God within our soul necessitates practice and scrutiny Often that which bubbles up gets lost among the cacophony in our minds and hearts. Despite the obstacles and interference to silence and stillness in today’s world, God clearly invites us to slow, still, and submit to His stirring within.
What does silence feel like in your body? Are you able to attune to the silence even in the noise of life?
How does the overflow of the Spirit within your soul move when you slowdown and quiet before the Lord?
Ask God to enable you to pay attention to His presence in the silence – be still and know (Psalm 46:10). In the stilling of the soul a deeper knowing of God and His movement bubbles up.
Consider some individuals throughout the Scriptures who heeded the bubbling of God within their soul. Notice their different responses to His rustling within their hearts and minds.
- Compelled to anoint Jesus, Mary arrived uninvited to Simon’s dinner party. (Luke 7)
- Undistracted in devotion, Stephen proclaimed truth despite the angry crowd. (Acts 7)
- Unconcerned by the attitudes of others, Mary surrendered to God’s messenger declaring herself as God’s servant. (Luke 1)
- Although Saul’s reputation showed him threatening to followers of Jesus, Ananias trusted God, obeyed, and prayed for Saul’s healing. (Acts 9)
- Confidently, Nathan followed God’s movement within and confronted David about his sin. (2 Samuel 12)
- After receiving a vision from God, Isaiah spoke courageously the Word of the Lord. (Isaiah)
- When God opened her heart, Lydia became a committed follower of Jesus Christ and supported those sharing about Him. (Acts 16)
What other examples bubble up as you reflect on the Bible as well as those throughout history who attended to God’s movement within and responded in love to His stirring? In addition to biblical examples my mind considers Julian of Norwich, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, Brother Lawerence, and many more.
Attending to God’s presence and promptings within the soul occurs when we slow and still our soul before the Spirit of the Living God. It is discovering our Creator in the midst of engaging His creation. Live with an eager awareness of God’s pursuit of you and with an unhurried posture, notice the bubbling companionship and invitations of your loving God. Respond to God in love according to what your soul notices.
I invite you to either turn on “bubbling brook” if you have an Amazon Alexa, or imagine or visit a gurgling stream in God’s creation. Allow God to slow and still your inner being in Him. Give yourself permission to be quiet with your Savior so you experience His gentle, yet powerful movements bubbling up within your soul.
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Exodus 14:13-14 – Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Isaiah 30:15 – 15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Ruth Haley Barton and Dallas Willard. Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence. Downers Grove, IL. 2010.
Anne Graham Lotz. Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion. Colorado Springs, CO. 2020.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Hillsong Worship. Be Still. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7pJb49vVQY
Lauren Daigle. Wordless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ynrvdj1ecg