Today I lost my voice. Not totally...if I try really hard I can make a few sounds come out, but basically I spent the day whispering. Not only did it make our praise and worship time at church a little interesting (I am the worship leader), but I also began to realize that it is VERY hard to take care of 4 children (not to mention teach Sunday school) without a voice. Even when I would try to talk to them, they couldn't hear me amidst the other distractions- other people talking, children laughing and shouting, semi trucks racing over speed bumps, car tires screeching, and a regular barnyard chorus of dogs barking, roosters crowing, cows mooing, and horses neighing (yes, these are all noises that we hear regularly at our church). I warned Aislynn not to stand on the chair before it tipped, but she never heard me. I tried to give Keyli instructions on how to color her picture during Sunday school, but she couldn't hear me either. When Uriah made a goal playing soccer with his friends outside, I congratulated him with a huge smile on my face...and he never noticed. I tried to sing a song to Matthias before he went to sleep (which is something he usually loves), but this time I think my strange voice actually scared him, and he cried even harder. I think I had to repeat instructions today at least 3 times in order to be heard...and now I am worn out. I hope I have my voice back tomorrow!
In all of this, I actually was struck by an important lesson. I wonder how often God is speaking to me and I never even hear His voice. Now, God will not lose His voice like I did, but I think it's pretty safe to assume that He speaks to us often. After all, we're His children. He warns us of dangers, he tries to teach and instruct us, and he longs to comfort us and speak words of love to us. But how often do we actually hear what He has to say? Does His voice get drowned out by all the other distractions in our life? As I learned from today, it's very frustrating to speak and not be heard. I'm not suggesting God is frustrated with us...but it is hard to speak and be ignored. After awhile I, in my lowly human nature, gave up. I figured if I couldn't be heard it wasn't worth speaking. God on the other hand, is infinitely patient with us and His mercies are new EVERY morning. If we don't hear Him the first time, He tries again...and again...and again. He wants us to hear Him, to heed His warnings, to follow His instructions, to feel His comfort, and to enjoy His love for us. God is speaking to us, even now. Are we listening?