Birthdays are special. Especially when there are so many to celebrate.
With our large family, every few weeks we are singing our family birthday song (you don’t want to know), and eating cake and ice cream.
It might be a good idea to invest in a candle company. I often reuse the numbered candles–if I’ve forgotten to get a candle, I usually have a once-used number that can stand to be lit again.
We were celebrating Debbie’s birthday. I’d purchased the appropriate numbered candles and was ready to put them in place when Taylor, Debbie’s husband, brought out a fancy candle that played Happy Birthday and opened up like a flower blossoming with fire as it swirled to the music. Very fancy.
Kolly, who recently celebrated her first birthday, was quite bothered by the spectacle of the musical, fire-filled, twirly candle. Her tears mingled with the birthday song.
When everyone had left, John and I sat and chatted for a little bit. At a pause in the conversation, we both heard it.
Music, as if it was coming from far away.
We ignored it for the moment. But it kept going. Neither of us could figure out where it was coming from. I listened and moved toward the sound.
It was coming from the garbage.
Upon further inspection (yes, I had to sift through trash), I found the culprit. It was the candle. Still singing like it was kin to the Energizer Bunny.
There was no off switch. It had to run out of power itself.
There are so many times in life where I wish there was an off switch to all the noise that confronts me–demands, requests, incessant information, non-stop news. Always input.
No off-switch. Annoying.
The prophet Elijah had been the force behind the destruction of the many prophets of an idol that had been worshiped by the king and queen of Israel and many of its people. Having accomplished this massive task, he became fearful because the queen swore she’d see him dead. He ran for his life, ending up at Mount Sinai where he confronted God, hesitant after his heroics.
God addressed him in his fear.
“Then He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.’ At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-12.
There is an expectation that the Lord is loud and boisterous, but He is a kind and gentle Father, so when He speaks to our hearts, He is quiet. Giving us the chance to listen.
The world is full of noise and interruptions, demanding our attention and giving us reasons to pay attention. Too often we listen, whether from fear of not being accepted or shame for not hearing what others hear. Wanting to be part of everything keeps our ears attentive to what isn’t good or healthy for us to listen to.
No off-switch. Annoying.
God’s voice is a gentle melody to our hearts, speaking of His love and passion for us.
If we pause and listen, tuning out the blaring noises around us, we may be surprised at all the wonderful things He has to say to us.
From His heart of love.
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