Dad’s Zenith
Tuning Through Troubles
I enjoy listening to broadcast radio when I drive: listening to a CD, I always know what song is next. On the radio, every song is a surprise. Living in a canyon, however, FM radio reception is dicey near our home. Every evening, I switch from my preferred FM station to an AM news station as I descend the grade into the canyon. When I leave in the morning, I listen to the news until I’ve climbed the hill leading into town, then switch over to the FM channel.
One night not long ago, I returned from an evening meeting, driving through sheetlike rain and gusting winds. As I dropped into the canyon, music gave way to static. But the road conditions were challenging; I did not want to take a hand off the wheel even for an instant. So I gritted my teeth and drove home through the rain, static blaring forth from my truck’s speakers. The racket made me miserable.
Then as I turned off the main road through our canyon onto the side street that would lead me home, I heard music again. “Hmm,” I thought. “Four years in this house and I never knew that when I get close enough to home, the reception comes back.” I happily hummed along for the final few minutes of my drive.
I’ve been thinking about static, and music, and troubles. I don’t like static. It irritates me to hear it. So I turn off the radio or tune to another station that comes in clearly, even if it isn’t what I most want to hear. I learned the other night that if I can tolerate the irritation for a while, the music returns, as sweet as it was before–but perhaps better appreciated after an interlude of static.   
Troubles work the same way. I can “turn off the radio” by disengaging from a challenging situation. I can tune in to something else, something trivial and easy, ignoring a problem. Or I can carry on through the static, trusting in God that from the din of challenges, something beautiful will emerge, in His time and for His glory.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for His own glory.
Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)


  1. There is a certain benefit to 'sticking out the static' in our lives. When spouses bail otu at the first sign of trouble, when employees quit when trouble lurks, when church members bail when times are tough — we miss out on the big picture, the life lessons…

  2. True, David! Thanks for sharing your insights.