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The Wonderous Silence

Have you ever lost your voice? I mean really lost your voice… not because of shouting or yelling, but for a week or longer?

It fundamentally changes you.

You stop holding weight in conversations around you. People around you stop interacting with you as much. They don’t intend to, but they naturally do, because talking to you is exhausting. It is hard to strain their ears that much to listen to a couple of your mumbled words.

It’s also exhausting for you to try and say anything. You are out of breath and mentally exhausted and impatient after just a few moments of attempted dialogue.

Your mind works the same, but you just can’t speak. You may have important things to say, but no one knows it. To make it worse, they know you can’t talk so they stop looking to you for input. They move on to the next item of discussion or look to others for a source of inspiration.

Your value isn’t any less, but you certainly don’t feel that way. You stop trying to contact people because they can’t hear you. They stop contacting you because they can’t understand you. You are forced into a place of solitude and the deafening sound of thought.

Nothing you can do can bring you out of this state of silence.

Nothing, that is, except your voice. I lost my voice recently for two weeks. It felt like a lifetime. The things I thought were normal and part of being in a community or family were suddenly foreign to me. I lost my grandfather and couldn’t call my grandmother to talk to her. I wanted to check in on my brother caring for everyone and couldn’t reach out to him. My children needed to be taken care of and given direction and comfort, but I couldn’t offer a word.

My wife all but stopped talking to me because she was so exhausted from running around trying to do everything else I couldn’t do. Without a voice, you feel insignificant and humble.

Coincidentally (though probably not that much of a coincidence), right before I lost my voice the Lord drew me to the story of Zechariah (John’s the Baptist’s father). He was visited by an angel when he was ministering to the Lord in the Temple. The angel detailed that his wife would be having a child by him - despite being old and past her childbearing years. Upon hearing this, Zecharaih was in disbelief. As a result he was made mute and more than likely deaf as well.

No one knew what happened to Zechariah except that He had some sort of experience with the Lord that rendered him deaf and mute. More probably, the people around him expected it was because of some sin in his life. The important point of this post is this: Do you realize that he was mute and deaf for more than 40 weeks!?!? That’s nearly a year!

Here, a man of the cloth, a holy man, a man respected by the elders of the church, a man of high rank in his community, made to feel worthless. Made to be brought low and cast aside by all those around him. The reason? Simply because he could not interact with them. What’s worse, no one knew why.

If he tried to write the story down for them, they probably laughed at him for the preposterousness of the story. And he could do nothing. He could only sit there in his thoughts. His thoughts that grew louder and louder with each day that passed.

His thoughts and interactions towards others probably had been dwindled to a wave here and head nod there. People probably started forgetting about him and his old role at the temple because he couldn’t have conversations with them anymore. They naturally talked with each other and after a few short weeks didn’t notice he was even there.

Then that beautiful day came when his son was born.

He was brought over to write down the boy’s name on the tablet. As soon as he wrote it down, his voice and ears were loosed. He said the name of his son. In fact, I imagine he shouted it, unburying his voice from some deep chasm within.

Do you know how precious that name and boy was to him. He had nothing to do but sit and think to himself as he watched his son grow in the womb of his wife. He could do nothing but hear the stories his wife wove to him about how she felt the boy leap in her belly at the presence of Jesus when Mary approached. He knew no other conversation for the longest time, save for the conversations he would have with himself about his son and what his name should be.

I can imagine upon getting his voice back, every single time he uttered the name John when speaking about his son he would feel the electricity of heaven echo through his very being. He would almost shutter with a fear of the Lord when he whispered his name.

He lost all his significance and influence as a result of this boy. Yet somehow, he gained it all back because of this beautiful, precious son of his. This boy called by God Himself to prepare the way for the Savior of all the earth! He never forgot or took for granted speaking that name, I can guarantee you that.

Are you aware that EVERY TIME the Father speaks out your name, He holds you with the very same weight and cherished love that He does with Jesus?. Every time. Without fail.

We are told in Psalm 139:17,18 that the Lord’s thoughts towards each of us are as numerous as the grains of sand that cover all the earth. That’s a lot of thoughts.

It changes our perspective and attitude when we get to know and have a relationship with Jesus. We start to believe things that are otherwise unbelievable. We start to see things that are otherwise unseen.

We start to love people that are otherwise unloveable. He takes our voicelessness and gives it a sound. Our vocal chords take up the sound of hope, love, mercy, and faith. We are given clout and charisma when we talk, that others start to pay attention to.

Here is the hardest part of having a voice, though... Having the courage to use it.

What does it look like to you to speak hope into a dying world? Hope can change the atmosphere around you.

What do the beautiful words of your love sound like? Words of love raise the level of hope in others.

How can you speak mercy into the situations of life? Mercy brings peace to a life of chaos.

And how can you live out your faith? Faith that is proclaimed can move mountains.

Your voice is such a precious gift. Don’t waste it… So lift up your voice dag gone it!! The world, lonely and full of the voiceless, is waiting for you to speak.

Loose your voice today and start proclaiming that which the Lord has granted you, a voice to change the world!

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