The drive from here to Boise, ID, straight south through Pullman, Lewiston, and McCall, is filled with tremendous scenery. God’s creation abounds from the rolling wheat fields of the Palouse to the narrow canyons of the Salmon River. Just as amazing is filling that drive with the music of worship or teaching of God’s Word. I traveled that way recently for meetings and was able to tune into Jesus pretty much the entire way. Whenever the speakers turned to static, I hit the seek button on the dial until I heard the latest from David Crowder, Chris Tomlin, or any number of other contemporary Christian artists.
One of the reasons this was so enamoring for me was that up until last year I was not able to listen to the radio in my car. The antenna in my old rig hadn’t allowed me to tune into anything for nearly ten years, but the radio in my current vehicle works great. Tuning into Jesus was the perfect complement to the scenery I was enjoying. That worked everywhere on my trip except for a small stretch somewhere east of Hell’s Canyon where the seek function on my radio rolled through every frequency without landing. It took me right back to the static I started with. It seems in that spot the wilderness is just too rough, too wild, too remote for radio.
I wonder if you’ve been there? Not Idaho State Highway 55 along the Little Salmon River where your radio cuts out and you might as well turn it off, but where no matter what you do you’re having a hard time tuning in to Jesus. On Idaho State Highway 55 that’s east of Hell’s Canyon, but Hell’s Canyon might very well be the death or deadly diagnosis of a loved one. It might be the contentious relationship between yourself and a mean-spirited family member. It might be a looming decision that you’re afraid to make because of the unknown territory on the other side. Whatever it is, when we’re in those moments of spiritual static, it seems like we are completely out of touch with the Lord.
Perhaps what we need is a bigger and better antenna? I’m not sure how to make that happen spiritually speaking, but I do know that Jesus has a good one. It doesn’t matter what kind of canyon we’re caught in; even if it seems straight out of hell, our voice carries right through the static. We might not feel like we are able to hear him, but he hears us.
Psalm 145:18-20 assures us, “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him.”
This means that when we’re in the wilderness and life is filled with spiritual static, there’s a sure way of connecting with our Savior. Think of it as our personal Christian equivalent of the radio seek button, only it never turns up empty: prayer. Cut the static by calling on him. Jesus hears. Jesus saves. Jesus watches over us. A little further down life’s road our tuner may start working: his word in our devotional scripture readings will hit home, a well-crafted sermon will come through clearly, or the reality of his presence in his supper will fix the fuzz with the frequency of forgiveness. Until then, be assured—he’s always tuned in to you and me.