This post marks my return to daily devotionals. It has been a difficult two-week absence. Maybe, at some point, I will share some of my experiences and what I have learned about myself… You get a bit of a hint in today’s post.
Thank you to all who offered prayers for me… and who encouraged me to keep on writing these posts. It is always good to know that someone is reading them, and enjoying their content.
You know that little voice that talks to you in those questionable moments in our lives? You know, the one that is barely audible against the background of all the other thoughts that are running through your mind. The one that is just a whisper amongst the din of other voices. The one that tells you NOT to do something… but you end up doing it anyway.
It is in the storm of repercussions that follow that you reflect back and realize… you DID hear that voice loud and clear. You just didn’t want to listen. Or you had a superb justification for not listening. Or you felt comfortable in the (insane) thought that you were smart enough, or careful enough, or clever enough that there really was nothing to fear – that everything would be just fine.
It is that voice that offers you just the right path to keep yourself out of a peck of trouble – that voice that wants nothing more than to keep you from hurting people you care about, or to keep you from ending up looking like a world-class jerk.
The Bible calls that voice… “the still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12 KJV).
You would think that the voice of God would be… much bigger… more obvious… more commanding of our full attention. More of a thunderbolt that shakes the very ground of our souls… than a tiny, almost indistinguishable whisper.
But it isn’t.
And I think that is why we get into so much trouble. We hear… but we don’t listen.
It is when we ignore that tiny voice that we discover the full brunt of the enormous echoes of our mistakes. And then, we are surrounded and encumbered by our guilt… our shame… the full weight of our remorse.
If only we could go back in time and prevent ourselves from saying that hurtful thing… or doing that harmful action… or making that terrible mistake…. or having to scramble to pick up all the broken pieces of our lives… If only…
You would think that we would learn. That voice should be heeded at all costs. That voice offers us insight and wisdom that is beyond ourselves. That voice has no agenda but to surround us with love and to protect us from… ourselves.
As I look back at my life, I realize there are so many moments where I have ignored that voice – and it has cost me dearly.
But I also know this about that voice. It is patient. It is kind. It does not hold a grudge. It recognizes that we are but dust (Psalm 103:14). It knows that we are feeble and frail and prone to ignorance… and rebellion… and to thinking, we are so much smarter than we really are.
And still, it comes to us. Whispers of love. Of continual second chances. Of no condemnation for those who (deep down) really want to love God back. In spite of the fact that we are so undeserving – the voice still seeks to speak to us, is eager to help us, heal us, lead us – and to become the guiding voice of our every action…
I have just come through one of those seasons of devastation. Where I really wish I could go back and undo what I did. Without knowing it, or ever intending it, I hurt some people that I care about (maybe not enough?!).
In these moments, I have needed God’s grace to cover my shame – to mend my mistakes – to lead me out of my self-inflicted darkness. To remind me that, in spite of my self, I am still beloved.
And would you believe it… the voice is there.
Prayer Focus: God, give us ears to hear Your Voice — and hearts that are quick to respond with trusting You.