When I was a kid, my Dad would occasionally travel. It didn’t happen very often, and I was quite a Daddy’s girl, so when it did happen, I wasn’t very happy about it. I would cry when he left and I’d miss him so much while he was gone. One of those times that he went out of town, he recorded a cassette tape of his voice for me so that I could listen to it while he was gone. And I did – over and over again. It wasn’t the same as Daddy being home, but it was comforting and reminded me that he loved me and that he’d be back soon, and that everything would be “right” again.
I also remember the days, as a young woman, waiting by the phone for a young man to call. I just wanted to hear his voice. I cherished love notes. But in time apart, there was just nothing like hearing his voice on the other end of the phone line. There’s just something about the voice of the one you love… to make you feel loved, safe, and important.
As special as other voices have been to me, there’s one voice that trumps them all.
“The blessing is simply this: In time, God will speak. Ah, for this we live! When God speaks, everything changes.” (Bob Sorge, “The Fire of Delayed Answers”)
I remember the first time God spoke to me. I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I knew in my heart that I had heard God, and it was just as clear as if He had spoken aloud. It was during a wretched time in my life when I was facing abuse, neglect, fear, and despair. But at the dark wooden altar in that little country church, God told me He loved me. And for years, the memory of those words literally kept me alive.
I’ve heard a theory that God is speaking to us every moment, but that we just don’t always know how to hear Him. And I think that might be true. He speaks with a voice that is strong, but quiet. We have to ask the right questions, and then we have to be still and quiet, and willing to hear what He has to say. And those are hard criteria to meet all at the same time. At least they are for me.
I hear a lot of voices – friends, family, co-workers, the car radio, the TV, and thousands of people on social media. But how often do I shut off all of the noise, step away from the other voices, and just listen for His voice?
Not often enough.
His voice makes me feel loved and comforted. His voice gives me courage and clarity. His voice changes me for the better.
A boyfriend’s voice doesn’t do that. As much as I love my Dad, his voice doesn’t have that power, either. Only the voice of God does.
It’s time to be more intentional about choosing which voice I listen to, and which are unnecessary.
What’s your experience with hearing the voice of God? How have you heard Him? How do you listen to Him?
This post is part of a weekly book discussion on Bob Sorge’s book, “The Fire of Delayed Answers.” You don’t have to read the book to stick around for the discussion, but if you have written a response to this week’s chapter, link it up at the widget below before you run over and visit my friend and co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen.