Last week I had no voice. Though it is mostly recovered now, I am still getting the top part of my range back. For me, singing makes up so much for how I express my love for God. I sing as I pray, just throughout my daily activities, and as I worship the Lord together with those in my church. One of “my psalms” is Psalm 42:8 because God’s song is always with me. He is always singing over me, and I love singing back to Him. Well, last week, I had no voice even to speak out my prayers. Furthermore, both my and my husband’s computers crashed, and my stethoscope went missing. Yet, I felt a peace in all this. We have iPhones and iPads, and family who help us out; but even more than all this, we have God who works all things for the good of those who love Him [Romans 8:28].
Anyway, during that last week, I was forced to be quiet and be still – no voice to speak with, no computer to check emails and surf the internet. Because of this, I appreciated God’s song in and through me, in a different way. Reflecting on this, I thought I would explain it through the five senses.
I observed more. Being close to Christmas now, we have hosted a number of gatherings. It has been lots of fun hanging out with people and we even made a little adventure room with clues and locks in our living room. One thing I realised as we did this, was how much I enjoy seeing people love one another. I love seeing people have fun together, speak with one another, and help each other. This made me think of how much joy God must have as He watches us love one another as He has called us to. God’s first commandment is that we love Him, and his second commandment is that we love one another.
“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.” – [1 John 4:12]
I also found myself really appreciating the faith I saw people live out. I love how my parents use everything they have to honour God and build up his kingdom. This includes the skills they have at their workplace. While many people seem like they want to keep work at work, my parents take those skills and joyfully use them to bless those in the church (and many others too!). I see God’s blessing on my mother’s life because she covers everything, literally everything in prayer. I see God work powerfully through my father because he humbles himself and submits to God in all things. I see God’s love flow through my sister to all her friends because she loves God, and loves her friends with this love. I see God’s faithfulness to my husband as he perseveres to do all things excellently for the Name of Jesus. I see God lead me into more of His beauty, and show me more ways to reveal this to others as I ask Him to show me more. When we look for God, we will find Him, and He will reveal Himself to us.
“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” – [Matthew 7:8]
I listened more. One thing I love, is that God literally seems to sing to me all the time. It’s not just songs that I’ve listened to recently. These are songs, sometimes very old songs, from which God highlights a phrase or a word. They are His songs, sometimes just taken from a passage or promise in the Bible. In the last week, I have heard the Lord speak the phrases below.
“Stand on My promises.”
There is an old song called, “Standing on the promises of Christ my King” which has lyrics:
“Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of God my Saviour;
I’m standing on the promises of God”
I really felt to declare that we can stand on the promises of God. They are unfailing, they are life-giving, and they are powerful. Israel had unbelievable promises given to them as a nation and despite everything, God always came through with His word.
“Not a word failed of any good things which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” – [Joshua 21:45]
“My blood speaks a better word.”
Jon Thurlow sings a song which repeats the line “Your blood speaks a better word.” I love Hebrews 12, but had never really looked deep into this particular part of the passage.
“For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest… But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” – [Hebrews 12:18, 22-24]
This is such an amazing word from God. Instead of fear, we see God’s open arms. We see His kingdom, and His righteousness. Abel’s blood cried out for justice, declaring his innocence as he was murdered by his jealous brother. Jesus’ blood speaks of a new covenant – justification for all men, a covering of righteousness for all, and the kingdom of God, who is Judge of all. His blood speaks a better word, because it covers all our sins and justifies us before our God, into eternal life and communion with Him.
I was more aware of God’s touch in every aspect of my life. God is always working and sometimes we do not see everything He does, or appreciate His little gifts. Sometimes it is the tangible sense of His presence embracing me, sometimes the spring of joy that cannot be quelled within me, sometimes the boldness He gives me to speak out. Often, it is just little things that remind me that God is with me, that He sees everything, knows everything, and is just walking life with us. Here are just some of the little things I have noticed and thanked God for. We can thank Him for anything and everything!
- I caught up with a friend and just happened to walk into a shop selling the exact thing she had been looking for, but unable to find, during her year in Adelaide. We were not even looking for it, and this was a couple of days before she left to return to Germany.
- We ran out of garlic, I went to church and someone had a whole carload of garlic he was freely giving out.
- We went out to invite all our neighbours to Christmas on Angas (our church Christmas event), and all the ones we had not met properly were actually at home, including one whose home was still being built. So, we had a great time getting to know all these neighbours better.
- Our neighbour came to Christmas on Angas and really enjoyed herself. We also got to hear more about her experiences with the church in the past.
- I hosted a girls’ Christmas fundraiser for Rahab ministries, and was aiming for around six giftpacks. The girls made twelve beautiful packs, double what I thought we could manage, with more inside each pack than I thought we could fit!
- It turns out our central air conditioning actually works – very handy as it is now summer!
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – [2 Thessalonians 5:16-18]
I smelt the aroma of worship rising up to God. At church this Sunday, I looked around and saw a multitude of people from every nation lifting up their hands and voices to praise the Lord. I just loved being in the congregation, worshipping the Lord together with all my brothers and sisters. When my voice was gone, I remember just raising my hands, praying and rejoicing silently as I listened to the chorus of worship all around me. Not only is there an aroma of worship that pleases God, but there is also an aroma of His grace that radiates from His church.
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us to triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ amongst those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” – [1 Corinthians 2:14-15]
I tasted and saw that the Lord is good. God saturates our lives with His presence, and His goodness. It fully satisfies, fully delights, and never fails to surprise. It leads us into the fullness of God, and reveals His glory to us. We just need to allow the Holy Spirit to help us see, hear, feel, smell and taste it. Lord, would you increase my capacity to experience your fullness everyday!
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” – [Psalm 34:8]