Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Still Small Voice

I heard God’s voice today.

I haven’t heard it in a long, long time.

Technically sound travels better in the desert- something to do with the dry air and lack of obstructions that absorb sound.  

Not so in the spiritual desert.  In the spiritual desert, there just is no sound.  None, at least, but the sound of our own sufferings and dried up prayers.  And the shuffle of one dusty footstep dragged after another...

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.  Romans 8:26, The Message

Last week I begged, not prayed, but begged God, through tears and desperation, to let me hear Him.  Please speak to me.  Speak to me in a way that is so clear I cannot possibly miss Your voice.

All I got was listen harder.

Not the message I wanted.  But He is God and I am Beverly.  He does not cater to my weakness, but endeavors to lift me out of it.  If I will let Him.  

Listen harder.

For over a year now, I have been in a season of refinement, one of taking away and paring down, of accepting and forgiving.  It’s been a season of truths revealed, hard truths, some drawn painfully from deep, deep places.  And all of it sandwiched between two diagnoses that changed everything.  At each turn I think, “Surely this is the last.”  But it is not.  

This morning I went to sit down with a cup of coffee and spend some time with my husband before church.  But as I was folding my legs under me to settle in my chair, I somehow dislocated my right knee.  There it was, in a moment, my walk was broken.

So now, we add to this season crutches and an orthopedist.  We just did this 3 years ago with my left knee- two surgeries and months of rehab.  It was hard.  I don’t want to do it again.  

All the way to the ER I cried, but not from pain or dread.  I cried because I surely must be the most stubborn child of God.  

How broken do I need to be before I will listen?

In the waiting room of the ER, I saw a couple huddled together.  She was in a wheel chair, bundled in blankets with an oxygen tank.  He leaned close and held her hand.  She was fear and precious frailty.  He was strength and utter compassion.  

She could not talk, but cried pitifully and wailed in her small voice.  Her words were unintelligible, but he looked in her eyes and nodded.  He understood.

Wordless sighs, aching groans.  Is this how we sound to Jesus?

And as soon as I asked the question, God whispered to me, “Yes. Go and pray with her.”

And so I did, one broken footstep dragged after another across the waiting room to lay my tainted hand on God’s beloved and speak her suffering.

His voice did not bluster or the shake the earth.  It did not blaze and smoke.  It simply compelled.  In peace and rightness, it compelled.  And I knew it to be truth.

I then understood that I miss His voice because I listen for it in this life, and He simply wants me to hear it in this moment.  In each moment.  Every moment.  One at a time.

Listen harder.  I am always speaking.

Yes Abba, I hear You.

My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me.  John 10:27, The Voice