When you wake up most days to a household full of early morning flurry, and there’s yesterday’s pile of left-over-laundry sneering back at you, and another whole new round of cooking that begets cleaning to still get-through, and yep — a mountain of paperwork creeping into the edge of your bedside table waiting for who-knows-when filing will ever take place, you may be tempted to dismiss and divide the sacred from the secular, the holy from the ordinary, and think, “Why would God care and why would He speak?”
It’s easy to succumb to the feeling that God’s out there somewhere but you’re down here below and God’s disinterested in your life and that it’s unlikely for Heaven to invade your Home, or anything spiritual or spectacular to impact your one sedentary normal life.
And that day when Ingmar Bergman, the famous Swedish filmmaker, stumbled into a large cathedral, he was feeling utterly depressed and so discouraged…desperately hoping to hear God speaking to him. Seeing the image of the Good Shepherd on the glass-stained window, he pleaded “Talk to me, talk to me”, but when it remained silent, he walked out and poured his anguish about a god who remained silent into a script for a movie called “The Silence”. Bergman captured the hearts of a multitude of audiences who were echoing the same empty sound in their own empty souls.
“Does God care?” – is the issue that begs the question of our age.
Today the world’s angry…people are afraid and everyone’s confused, and there are explosions everywhere. Catastrophes that send people pleading, inwardly begging for all these mess to cease, and earnestly hoping for this dark heavy silence to break with the song of relief.
And this is the relief: though many believe God is silent, or that He doesn’t care, the Bible tells it differently. The Bible says that our God is a living God who speaks, and that He speaks today to His children in their depression, in their distress, in their decisions…simply because He cares.
And when He whispers the sound of your name, it’s unmistakable. He has spoken in ages past, He is still speaking today and He will continue to speak into your one willing, albeit messy heart.
So with that swirl of the downright plain and ordinarily messy — hurrying little ones through the toilets and into the car, we drove to church, we hurried to slow, we gathered to quiet, and offered the song of the plain to the God who desires communion with the common, on that Sunday morning, the 19th of June.
I saw the Husband in tears, visibly moved in the presence of the One who cares. He motioned me to come sit next to him. Taking my place next to him, he looked into my eyes, wrapped my hand in his, and whispered, “God’s just told me…” , and unwrapped the word in his heart.
To hear God speaking into your life a word that’s personal, practical and prophetic, can just about change a whole landscape of living and experientially knowing Him.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:1-3)
I read it again the words that sprang up to me. This fact remains: God’s spoken. The nature around us shouts to us, the prophets before us reminded us, the conscience within us nudging us, and the Spirit living in us prompting us.
But the fullest, most undeniable way that He speaks to us today? — is still through the language of the Son of God sent to die for us.
“It’s not about us…”, the Husband spoke in between tears, “it’s about Him and His plan and His kingdom…”, confirming everything that’s been in my own heart about the next season of our family’s life.
God hasn’t left us to our own devices and clever ways to work out His plan for our lives. He does provide directives, He lovingly guides His children.
“It’s about the next stage of our calling…about caring for both the older and younger generation”, he continued, “about our role in serving Him,” and I chimed in, and almost word to word – “and about having a vision for education for our kids and making a prayer room in the centre of it all”. I now brimming with smile thinking how God cares enough to speak the same word to two so ordinarily common hearts…
When you’ve been raised in the atmosphere of doubt, and you’ve trained yourself to doubt everything around you, it’s hard to get through a day without questioning whether you’ve done it right and whether you’ve lived your one life well.
But when God speaks, there’s no doubting that He does…He says it uniquely, and so individually, so that we can get to know Him so intimately…Him revealing His nature and His ways through our experiences with Him.
It’s just like God speaking to Noah the vision of the ark, empowering him with the means, strengthening him with the stamina, bypassing all the ridicules. And the God who provides the specifics, and clarity on the directives can also do the same for your one, so ordinarily, plain, messy, crazy living.
It’s just like how we’ve named each of our children. And like how we’ve heard what jobs to choose, and where to live, and how to parent. And like how He told us to build… And for us that believe that God is still speaking today, the implications are incredible to us. The Word inviting us to hear a message so specific, so singular to the season of our lives.
Because this faith that we profess, is the substance of things we hoped for and the evidence of the things we have not seen.
And because we believe that the world was framed by the word of God, we too know that He will hold our universe by the power of His Word—physically, and all things pertaining to us, in the power of His love.
So when we came home that day, you can almost hear it in the air. How silence’s been punctured by the sound of His voice… That no matter how the day’s going, or what news you may hear of the health of your friends, or what tragedy may try dampening you with, the fact remains… God’s spoken, is still speaking and will remain speaking.
Night’s been broken.
Morning has come.
Our worlds in the palm of His hands.
So that day we sketched these words. We scribbled hope. We put colours onto our ordinarily, plain walls. Faith and joy infused because of the God who speaks.