03 Mar His gentle, still voice
Last weekend we started Little League for our first season of Baseball. My 10 year old is playing and as we attended the opening ceremonies, he was definitely a mix of nervous, excited and independent. After the festivities were finished, we were walking across the sports fields to my other son’s soccer game (this is my life right now). My husband saw our 10 year old, Ethan, a field away and started to whistle for him. I laughed to myself thinking… first of all; he’ll never hear that. And second, why on earth has he always whistled for our kids? About 10 seconds later though, among the sea of people, I saw Ethan’s head start to dart around. To my amusement, he most certainly heard his Dad’s whistle. He caught our eye, waved and pointed to where we would meet.
I thought about this occurrence the next few days. It amazes me how in a room full of kids crying, I can usually pick out my kids voice. How crazy is it, that if my child is yelling for help, I usually can detect it no matter the other noises around me? I know them, am connected to them and can detect them.
A few years ago, our family went through a difficult season. Life had gotten crammed full and things were out of balance despite our efforts to stay on top. We slowly started to work through things and make changes. It was good. It was necessary. But it was oh. so. unsettling. I found myself desperately trying to hear the Lord’s voice and what He was saying.
When I was younger, I used to spend lots of time sitting with my prayer journal or at the piano just being in the Lord’s presence. Motherhood definitely changed this ebb and flow for me. In the middle of messy family life when I finally find time to “sit” and spend some “alone time”, my journal usually says something like: “HELP” “SOS” “HELLOOOO”.
During the season of unsettling, I planned and created more time and began to sit and seek the Lord. Every moment I would get there, I would say “God! Are you there?? What are you saying??”
Sometimes it seems He’s so silent.
I knew He was there, I knew He heard my voice through the chaos of my emotions. I literally had to quiet every other thing- emotions, thoughts, opinions- you name it! They were screaming at me but I literally had to tell myself to stay still and to keep my heart before the Lord. If I didn’t do this, how I was feeling on the inside would dictate my life on the outside. Even though He wasn’t speaking, I knew I could access His peace just by being in His presence.
One day, exasperated, I was pouring my heart out to the Lord. I heard His quiet voice say, “I just need more time.”
What???!!!! Come onnnnnnnn. Can’t you fix it Jesus?!?!
But I knew His voice. I knew that was Him that spoke to me. I held onto it. I continued to work on the changes we were making in our family and life. I continued to walk carefully and slowly. Changes happen over time not over night. His gentle guiding in situations felt more like steering not clear plans or audible words. Puzzle pieces slowly moved into place and I watched the Lord work. Piece by piece.
I’ve been reminded of this season a lot lately. My husband whistling to my son was a picture to me of our heavenly Father’s quiet voice in the middle of earthly chaos. There are so many things in my life where I constantly find myself taking a step back and asking “Lord, help me hear you gentle, still voice here”. It ranges from everything to job decisions, school choices, activities, relationships, groups, travel and on and on.
I love the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19 about the Lord’s voice being in the wind. Isn’t that how it seems? “And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.”
What I find is that I have to constantly work at quieting my heart to hear His voice. Just like my son heard my husband’s whistle, we have to field through the chaos of other voices to know where He’s leading. It takes work, dedication, self-control, and time, to hear him and know His voice.
Lord. Let us hear your gentle, still voice in every situation. Give us patience to wait, to keep asking and to keep pursuing because only you have to words of life.