Frances J Crosby, 1873 wrote Blessed Assurance
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love! These words nestle in an old hymn found their way into my heart this Christmas season. As I prayed about what the new year would bring, I would have this fleeting word come across my mind. “Whisper, whispers of love”. It would wake me in the night, it would follow me wherever I was. So many say they do not ever hear God speak to them. I believe it’s because we are not listening. Our minds and brains are so complex, capable of thousands of thoughts per hours. In my life, I know God speaks to me from His Word, Christian friends, music, sometimes my thoughts, Oh No! Don’t be alarmed! I always try to sift them through the Word.
Whispers of Love! I walked around with it spinning in my head for a couple of weeks. When this happens, I know that God is revealing Himself in some way. My process is to begin praying it back to Him. What are you trying to tell me? Listening. Listening. It may be a day or a week before it all falls together.
As it happened this time, I had looked up scripture about whispers and God whispering. I read and reread the story of Elijah and the cave. Elijah had defeated Jezebel! He had called upon God to rain down fire from heaven. Elijah was a big deal and yet here He sits in a cave and waits to die.
How many of us at times want to sit in a cave? After all the rush of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year celebrations, does anyone of you feel that tired, let-down, depressed state that follows a big experience in life?
I heard several friends say that Christmas this year was not the same. It was hard for them! Many had lost loved ones during the year and missed their presence. Others were alone with no family with them. Depressed! Alone! Sad!
I am afraid I also had sunk to a new low! Generally, I am above the line on the manic vs depressive scale. Most of time, I am a happy person. BUT! So much is happening in everyone’s life. At our age, my husband and I have realized it’s mostly just us now. Our children loves us. They also have lives that are spinning sometimes out of control with activities and blended families.
Christmas is not the same. Times are different. Culture has morphed. My family growing up had one Christmas. ONE! Two if you were fortunate to have both sets of grandparents alive. We would open our gifts at home then we went to our grandparents home where all the cousins and aunts and uncles came too. Today, there maybe many times that one is expected to attend different several dinner celebrations. We could hardly enjoy each others company because someone was rushing off to the next place. Scheduling where and when to get together becomes a nightmare!
And so it is that I am having a pity party in my own Elijah cave. Whispers of love! Whispers of love! God calls to us with whisper of love. With Elijah, God did not speak in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire but in the sound of a gentle whisper. “And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” I Kings 19:11
In a restless night of no sleeping, which also happens at my age, I was praying those words,whispers of love what was He trying to get me to see? There was a quiet sense of another scripture that came to my mind. “I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”Jeremiah 31:3-4. (I had to get up and find the scripture.) “Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”
Whispers of love! I am loved by the creator of the universe. I have been redeemed, called by name, I belong to Him.
To further send a message, I believe! I still was unable to sleep. I got my phone and began looking at some YouTube videos about Bible Journaling. I have been doing Bible Journaling for a while now and love to watch others as they express their insights into scripture.
This lady was illustrating John 16:22. “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy.” Jesus was leaving His disciples, returning to heaven. He wanted to let them know there will be a time when the grieving will be over. Hope, Hope! There is a brighter tomorrow. Jesus promises. The end of the video the message written out, He is faithful to turn your sorrow into pure joy. https://youtu.be/sLglnLYS6kU.
As I lay there, thinking about what the illustrator was saying and see the end. The phrase whispers of love comes again. Like a neon sign I see it! He is faithful to turn your sorrows into pure joy! A whisper of love from God to a seeker of His heart.
These are the times that I am humbled. Worship is an outflow of the intimacy we feel causing us exalt God as our Redeemer, Savior and Friend.
The worship and praise continue to carry through the next day. In my devotion time, I sometimes use the great hymns of faith. I was reading one of my favorites, Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine. …Verse 2 Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
There is was again! Whispers of love. Quiet whispers all through our thoughts and minds. God speak each day but we fail to take the time to recognize His voice.
One final thought from the book of Job. Job has suffered, grieved over terrible losses. Job answers his friend with a message of the majesty of God.
Thunder crashes and rumbles in the skies.
Listen! It’s God raising his voice!
By his power he stills sea storms,
by his wisdom he tames sea monsters.
With one breath he clears the sky,
with one finger he crushes the sea serpent.
And this is only the beginning,
a mere whisper of his rule.
Whatever would we do if he really raised his voice!”
Job 26:12-14 ( The Message)
(God: Don’t make me raise my voice! ( said in my mother voice in my head!)
My Word for the Year? LISTEN for the still small voice. God speaks to us quietly. WE MUST LEARN TO LISTEN!
4Him — The Voice of God
Happy New Year