This blog post was originally posted on my tumblr.
I got an MRI a couple of weeks ago. For those of you who don’t know the process, it’s not fun. You’re stuck in this tiny, claustrophobic tunnel, and also surrounded by an overwhelming, constant noise the entire time. Not a small buzz, but loud banging and clashing and thrashing that even shakes you. It’s pretty scary.
Before I went into the tunnel, the man asked me if I wanted to listen to any music to help make the experience a little friendlier. I requested the Housefires album. I have been listening to Housefires every single day, to and from work, on repeat for 2 hours a day, for the past 3 months. So it was only natural that it was the first thing I thought of.
Once the MRI started, the banging and clashing and shaking started. And I could hear the faint voices, singing in the distant “You’re a good, good father. It’s who you are…” I was pretty frustrated at first because I couldn’t hear the music. “What’s the point of even playing music?” I thought to myself. “I can’t hear anything.” The MRI was way too loud. But a few minutes into it, I closed my eyes and began to focus on the song. Even though I could barely hear it, I began to hum along since I knew the tune so well. And even though I couldn’t hear the lyrics, the music was just audible enough, to where I could hear familiar parts of the song cue me to start singing the lyrics that I have grown to know so well.
And just as I was singing, “…and I’m loved by you. It’s who I am…” the Lord brought me to a new revelation:
What if our ability to hear God’s voice, especially in tough seasons, is not about how loud and clear He is? What if instead, it’s about our choosing to drown out chaotic, contrary voices and focus on His, no matter how quiet it seems to be? Because we have grown so familiar to His voice in seasons past…Because we have spent so much time talking to Him in our day to day routine…
I used to evaluate intimacy with the Lord with my ability to hear His voice loud and clear in tough seasons. When I could hear Him, it would reassure me that God and I were “tight.” And when I couldn’t, I would get frustrated with myself, and Him, and my relationship with Him.
I’m realizing that intimacy with the Lord doesn’t just take place in the moments when His voice is like, BAM! (which is also pretty awesome). But increasing intimacy takes place in the everyday, mundane things. When I talk to Him during my commute. When I dialogue with Him in my journal. When I say good morning, thanks for the meal, and good night. It’s in these moments that I grow familiar to His voice, maybe without even knowing it…without dramatic proof of the difference that it’s making. So that when I enter seasons that have voices coming at me from every angle, His voice is still so familiar, and it cues me, guides me, leads me through shaking seasons.
Clarity is not in the volume of God’s voice. It’s in the familiarity of His love, His words and His truth, no matter what chaos seems to be competing against it.