A chain saw is buzzing in the near distance.
In the aftermath of winter, branches have fallen off trees. Some trees have lost ground and fallen over. And the grass begins to grow again. Lawn mowers, weed whackers and leaf blowers join the cacophony of sounds that disturb the lilting birdsong I relish.
The intrusion of machinery can easily drown out the gentler sounds produced by mountain breezes that coax the trees to sing … sometimes in soothing whispers and other times bellowing in my ears with hang-onto-your-hat intensity.
The Bible is clear that God speaks with many voices.
He gets our attention in Psalm 29: 1-11 NLT where his voice is said to echo above the sea.
When at the ocean, think about that echo. Especially if there aren’t too many other voices shouting and conversing. If it is quiet, the salt air, the ever-moving waves and crashes on the shore create an atmosphere that resembles the sounds of speech.
Sitting on shore with eyes closed can be a soulful time of reflection and communication with God.
In fact, in Revelation 1: 15, John describes what he heard … “and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves.”
Back to Psalm 29 we also come to realize that his voice is powerful and majestic and can shake the earth.
But in other passages we learn how diversified the Lord’s voice is.
If you are putting a child to bed, what voice do you use? Are you loud and commanding, or soothing and comforting?
Hopefully the latter.
And it is that voice that draws me close to the Lord’s side. He says in Psalm 46: 10, “Be still, and know that I am God!”
That speaks to me because if he is asking me for stillness, I’ll catch his whispers.
In John 10:27 Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
It is in our most quiet moments that our spirit will be in tune to that still, small voice that Oswald Chambers once described as “a sound of gentle stillness.”
This description comes from 1 Kings 19: 11–12 when the Lord speaks to Elijah. As he stands on the mountain the Lord passed by and a windstorm beat on the mountain. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind. Later an earthquake and a fire. But he wasn’t in either.
And then the Word says in verse 12b … “And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”
So, listen for his voice in the gentle promptings of your heart. Selah