I got an MRI a couple of weeks ago. For those of you who don’t
know the process, it’s not fun. You’re stuck in this tiny, claustrophobic tunnel,
and also surrounded by an overwhelming, constant noise the entire time. Not a
small buzz, but loud banging and clashing and thrashing that even shakes you. It’s
Before I went into the tunnel, the man asked me if I wanted
to listen to any music to help make the experience a little friendlier. I requested
the Housefires album. I have been listening to Housefires every single day, to
and from work, on repeat for 2 hours a day, for the past 3 months. So it was
only natural that it was the first thing I thought of.
Once the MRI started, the banging and clashing and shaking started.
And I could hear the faint voices, singing in the distant “You’re a good, good
father. It’s who you are…” I was pretty frustrated at first because I couldn’t
hear the music. “What’s the point of even playing music?” I thought to myself. “I
can’t hear anything.” The MRI was way
too loud. But a few minutes into it, I closed my eyes and began to focus on the
song. Even though I could barely hear it, I began to hum along since I knew the
tune so well. And even though I couldn’t hear the lyrics, the music was just
audible enough, to where I could hear familiar parts of the song cue me to start
singing the lyrics that I have grown to know so well.
And just as I was singing, “…and I’m loved by you. It’s who
I am…” the Lord brought me to a new revelation:
What if our ability
to hear God’s voice, especially in tough seasons, is not about how loud
and clear He is? What if instead, it’s about our choosing to drown
out chaotic, contrary voices and focus on His, no matter how quiet it seems to
be? Because we have grown so familiar to His voice in seasons past…Because we
have spent so much time talking to Him in our day to day routine…
I used to evaluate intimacy with the Lord with my ability to
hear His voice loud and clear in tough seasons. When I could hear Him, it would
reassure me that God and I were “tight.” And when I couldn’t, I would get
frustrated with myself, and Him, and my relationship with Him.
I’m realizing that intimacy with the Lord doesn’t just take
place in the moments when His voice is like, BAM! (which is also pretty awesome).
But increasing intimacy takes place in the everyday, mundane things. When I
talk to Him during my commute. When I dialogue with Him in my journal. When I
say good morning, thanks for the meal, and good night. It’s in these moments
that I grow familiar to His voice, maybe without even knowing it…without
dramatic proof of the difference that it’s making. So that when I enter seasons
that have voices coming at me from every angle, His voice is still so familiar,
and it cues me, guides me, leads me through shaking seasons.
Clarity is not in the volume of God’s voice. It’s in the
familiarity of His love, His words and His truth, no matter what chaos seems to
be competing against it.
You’re a Good, Good Father. It’s who You are. And I’m loved by you. It’s who I am.
I’ve spent the last five or so years searching for the love of the Lord. Searching for His peace and His joy and His guidance. Searching everywhere but at the feet of Jesus. This morning as I sat alone in a pew full of strangers, everything clicked. I cannot serve God and rely solely on myself. I cannot call myself a follower of Christ and trust only in my own provisions.
I’ve come to God as a beggar, never fully believing that He could or desired to bless me. Only aware of my lack, leaning on my own depravity, forgetting my dependence on Him.
I am so in awe of His love, His grace, and His constant pursuit of my spirit. The way God makes coming home so comfortable, so full of joy and peace. I’m so thankful for this beautiful church. For the way the Lord has used it as a way to open my eyes to see His face so clearly.
I just found out the incredibly good news that these two images were chosen to be in American Illustration 32! :) this couldn’t have come at a better time and I feel so, so lucky. thanks to AI and the jury for this honour.