Losing My Voice, Listening to God’s

imageSometimes God speaks most clearly when life throws you a curve — or a cough.

In the June 1st service at First Baptist Church, I didn’t sing any of the songs.  No, it wasn’t a silent protest because of song selection.  It was out of necessity.

I had struggled immensely with whatever allergens were unleashed during the month of May in our southwest Michigan area.  A persistent cough had dogged me for three to four weeks.  During one stretch, it was hard for me even to speak in a complete sentence because of the testy tickle and scratchiness in my throat.

I even thought of learning some basic sign language:

“I need a cup of tea.”

“I need more Halls lozenges at the store.”

“I need to breathe.”

You know, basic thoughts to convey.

I had even learned to unwrap a Halls in a groggy state in the middle of the night and suck on it safely while lying down.  By the way, tropical fruit is the best flavor.

Back to the service.  I knew I needed to keep silent in order to save my voice for the message, so my worship during the songs needed to take a different path.  I listened to other voices singing.  I meditated on the words of the songs.  I asked myself:  Are these lyrics true in my life?  Is this what I believe about God? 

“Standing on the promises I cannot fall / Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call”

“I will lift my eyes to the hills and their Creator / Who made all heaven and earth / For He watches me, never sleeps no never slumbers / He’s ever over me”

“All to Jesus I surrender / All to Him I freely give”

“I am on the battlefield for my Lord / And I promised Him that I would serve Him ’til I die / I am on the battlefield for my Lord”

The following week, I wondered if maybe sometimes it would be better for me not to sing during a worship service.  What if I opted out of singing on one song and meditated fully on the Spirit-inspired lyrics?  What if God spoke to me during a worship song while the church body blessed Him with united voice?

A few days later, thanks to a pharmacist friend of mine (and Benadryl), I have my voice back and my nagging cough is a distant memory.  I’m also thankful that God reminded me that I can wait in silence for the Spirit’s call even if it’s not quiet around me.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is in him” (Psalm 62:5 ESV).

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