To Hear God
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:27 (KJV)
Today is a really big day in my household and even as I write this, I am blinded by tears of joy and thankfulness.
My youngest son, Isaiah, has been enveloped in near silence for almost three years, due to profound deafness caused as a consequence of chronic kidney failure. In fact, it was the sudden on-set hearing loss that sent us to the doctors and contributed to saving his life as he was showing no other symptoms of the killer poison flowing through his veins.
As if it were not bad enough that he had to immediately begin a 3 day a week , 4 hours at a time dialysis treatment, his hearing was also going away more and more each day. Yet, he endured without complaint. I was so amazed at the end of each doctor visit, even with a degrading prognosis, that his only question was “Will I still be able to play my drums?”
In the midst of impending and impeding silence, he still joyfully committed himself to continuing to play the drums for our church praise services every single Sunday he was physically able to. Sometimes, even when he could only feel the vibrations from the other instruments or by merely reading my lips for context clues in a song.
As the situation began to deteriorate and he had been denied aggressive treatment until his kidney situation stabilized, I found myself often praying, “Lord, if he can’t hear my voice, at least let him be able to hear yours.”
I have seen evidence of this hearing of the Lord’s voice in his life over and over again during the past three years. It is loud each time I hear him proclaim that he is already healed by Christ stripes. It is clearly audible with each banging on his beloved drums. It is the loudest whisper each time I watch my boy go off into surgery or to his regular dialysis treatments… again without complaint.
Today’s question is simply this: how do we react when it seems like God has gone silent? When it seems like the poisons of daily stresses, situations and hope deferred block our ability to hear His voice? Or when it seems like the voice of the enemy (or maybe even our own) seems louder than the last thing we heard God say?
Do we turn back, fall apart, stop cold in our tracks or blame God for not answering the way we wanted? Or do we, like my son, Isaiah: wait patiently, proclaim the Word, and continue to be faithful to the last instruction God gave?
I know the silence is tough and waiting is not an easy thing. Trust me, I have had to rebuke myself a few times over the past few years for not being more like my son in this situation. But true to His Word, God will come and His Word will not return void. Isaiah 35: 3-7 tells us to “Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.…”
It is a surety that you can count on. He will speak and He will answer and He will be heard by those who are willing to follow.
Which brings me back to today. After three years of waiting, therapy and surgery, Isaiah’s cochlear implant was turned on today with a special processor that restored hearing in one ear.
Yes, of course I cried when he confirmed that he heard me. I belly laughed as he blessed my sister and my Pastor by calling them first as he was able to use a phone for the first time in all these years.
My prayer for Isaiah has changed now. “Lord, even though he can hear my voice again, let him hear Your Voice even louder.”
Father God, we thank you, in the Name of Jesus, for all that You have said and all that You will say to us. Help us to walk in joy and patience as we proclaim your Word over every situation and circumstance. Help us, by the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to remain faithful to the last instruction you gave us, whether by th written Word , prophecy or by the gifts you have instilled in us. We thank you for the blessing of hearing your voice and we gladly commit to follow in Jesus’ Name, Amen.