Be Still Know
Psalm 33:6 NLT
‘The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.’
The power of words can never be ignored. I can trace throughout my life the ways my perception and my behaviour have been crafted by my responses to words directed at me. These responses are both external, therefore visible to all, as well as internal wrestling.
The words that influence me often recur with the voice that first introduced them into my life. Sometimes it is a number of distinct yet different voices. Even as they break in upon me, I experience all over again the emotions I felt the first time I heard them. Is this a sign of madness? I think not. It is, rather, an indication of the power of words.
God created all that surrounds us by the word that he spoke, ‘Let there be (Genesis)…and it was.’ What’s more, it’s only upon the word of God that we have a friendship with God that is discoverable and knowable. We are invited to place confidence in the faithful commitment of God, in spite of contrary evidence. It is his faithfulness that invites my faithful response.
As I pursue the way of the contemplative, the words my head contends with are those about lack of ambition and achievement. Growing up, I was poor at school. My father incentivised me ahead of my 11 plus with the promise of a Mirror dinghy if I were to pass. I loved all forms of water and wanted to discover the mysteries of sailing. Sadly, I failed; the dinghy didn’t materialise, replaced with an opportunity to choose an educational book. I loved history so I secured Looking at History by RJ Unstead.
These events are vivid within me still, which reveals to me the power of the verbal exchanges that took place at that time. Now I am committed to discerning the voice of God, always grace-filled, always consistent and always inviting me to explore and express myself, even when that takes time in the silence and stillness of God’s presence.
QUESTION: Do you live shaped by the voices that have spoken into your life and world?
PRAYER: Jesus, my good shepherd, teach me to hear, know and obey your voice.