I met her at the first writers’ group that I held at my house about five years ago. She was an amazing woman of God surrounded by grace and humility. She dedicated her heart to writing devotionals for my ministry and several months later, God called her to be the Women’s Minister at my church. I was honored and blessed to be under her leadership.
Along with being a writer, women’s minister and church staff member, she also sang onstage with our church band. I would watch her sing and become irritated. I couldn’t hear my friend’s voice! She would only sing back-up, and I, not being musically inclined, couldn’t distinguish her from the others. I told her my frustrations about not being able to hear her, but she was content to use her voice to support the lead vocalist.
One Sunday morning my friend wasn’t singing, and I finally heard it: her voice was missing! Although I couldn’t discern her voice, I could definitely tell when it was absent.
I saw her the following week and exclaimed, “I heard it!”
“What?” She asked.
“The lack of your voice!” I yelled excitedly.
She looked at me for a moment puzzled, but then she smiled with understanding. In a small way, I finally felt like I could appreciate her singing talent.
This past Sunday morning, God had a very special gift in store for me. After five years, I finally heard my friend’s voice. She sang lead vocals, and I bawled. All my makeup was off my face before the pastor even said one word. I listened to my friend sing, and I thanked God for the amazing ways He shows Himself to me. What a beautiful sight she was singing for her mighty God! Her voice is forever imprinted on my heart.
As I reflect on that morning, I know that many people have trouble hearing God’s voice. They recognize when it’s missing, but they have never heard Him speak so powerfully that there was no doubt the words were from God. I once struggled with hearing God’s voice, and I worried whether or not I was listening to the wrong one.
But something changed. I now hear God’s voice loud and clear. He speaks to me through the Bible, the Holy Spirit and other Christians. He engulfs me with His presence, and He whispers to my spirit. What’s different? Why has it become so easy to distinguish His voice? The answer is simple. When I put God center stage, He became the Lead Vocalist singing into my life. All that I am stays focused on God, and I’ve learned to discern His voice.
“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding” (Job 37.5 NIV).