I was on our patio the other morning, enjoying the cool air and stillness before I had to start another busy day. It’s nice to see and to hear squirrels rustling through the branches of nearby trees, or to hear the sweet chirps of our many cardinals, or the whir of a hummingbird’s wings.
But soon, way up in the top of our huge oak tree, came the loud squawking of a Blue Jay.
His voice soon overtook all the others. I had to make myself listen carefully in order to hear the quieter, more pleasant birds that were still there but were being drowned out by the shrill voice of that Blue Jay.
What a picture of my life lately! Satan knows exactly when to yell in my ear, reminding me more of what I don’t have than what I do have. He knows when I am vulnerable…when I am more susceptible to letting him drown out God’s voice.
It’s easy to cave and listen only to his discouraging yells…to let him make me question God’s past leading in our lives.
“Are you sure it was God’s will for you to move here?”
“Too bad you can’t re-do some of your parenting.”
“Look at what they have that you don’t have.”
“Well, that hasn’t turned out like you thought it would.”
I’ve had to make myself stop hearing that very loud voice and instead focus on God’s quieter voice, just like Elijah did. Elijah, in I Kings 19, was just coming off the high of tremendous victory. He ended up physically and emotionally drained…vulnerable to Satan’s attacks of discouragement and depression.
He ended up in a cave, where God told him to stand on a nearby mountain. “And behold, the Lord was passing by!”
First there was a strong wind, but the Lord was not in the wind.
Then an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
A fire was next, but still the Lord was not in the fire.
Finally, there was the sound of a gentle blowing…a low whisper.
And God spoke to Elijah in that soft whisper of a faint breeze.
Over the past couple weeks, I have had to make myself NOT listen to the loud voices of doubt and questioning. I have had to discipline my thoughts to remember the past leading of God.
I was trusting God in the past, and He led me…He led us…to where we are. Why doubt Him now?
Did I trust Him then? Then how can I doubt Him now?
It’s a conscious choice I must make. Do I let the loud voice of doubt crowd out the small yet firm voice of God?
At the end of the day, may I choose to listen carefully to the right voice in my heart and not the loudest.
“My sheep hear My voice…”