“Am I a God at hand,” declares the Lord, “and not a God afar off?”
“Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord.
“Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. . .
“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”
(Jeremiah 29:23,24,29 ESV)
As much as these questions comfort my heart and strike me with awe at God’s majesty, they also sting with conviction.
This voice rest stuff has been really tough! Today, though, the hammer of God’s word broke the hard pieces of rebellion around my heart and I saw my “fudging” on talking for what it really is — a refusal to submit to God’s plan for my life. If I’m on voice rest right now because talking causes my vocal cords to swell, and the muscles in my neck and back to spasm, any reasonable person would conclude that I’m on voice rest for a reason. Don’t talk, and the spasms and the swelling subside. End of story. No need for debate.
However, I’ve been “playing around” with the voice rest stuff for several weeks. Talk some here, but not there. Don’t actually teach Bible study, but lead another group. Sure, I can talk when someone needs me. Yes, I can take that telephone call. It’s going to hurt, but this time of talking is worth it. All bargaining; all refusal to submit; all sinful rebellion.
My “life illustration” was when my kids were little and it was bedtime.
“Can I have another story?” “I need a drink of water.” “I have to go to the bathroom.” “Mommy, can I tell you one more thing?”
All various ways of refusal to submit to “it’s bedtime.” All with smiles. All still trying to coerce their own way.
God is not far off. He hasn’t forgotten that my vocal cords don’t work correctly. He isn’t surprised or frustrated or upset or disappointed that I’m not teaching now. My not teaching, not speaking, not leading groups, all of my “not-ness” is by His design and is part of His plan.
I can’t hide in any “secret places” of bargaining or procrastinating so that God won’t notice that I’m resisting His plan.
God fills heaven and earth; He can certainly take care of me and meet the needs that must be met. Whether I can speak or not does not alter His accomplishing His will in the earth. How arrogant and prideful for me to think otherwise.
In an earlier lenten post I mentioned that I wanted God to clean out and show me any places where I am still resisting Him. I want this season to be an opportunity for me to eliminate any hindrances from my intimacy with Him. Praise Him, He is so faithful.
And though it stings, I am grateful.
I would sing praises, but I’m on voice rest (I can still read and type though).