I don’t know who you are, or why you are here. For some reason, though, our two paths, each traveling in their own directions through eternity, have crossed in this specific moment in time. If you are anything like me, battered, bruised, and broken down — then we have much in common. And if you have ever ran along your path sprinting towards that sweet destiny that promised to satisfy, only to discover the surprising sourness that it really offered — then we have both tasted those similar subpar promises. Because more often than not, I find myself dreaming and wishing rather than living and thanking. However, these dreams are often tainted by the screams of this world — be smarter, be thinner, be more accomplished, be better than anything but yourself.
Maybe for you these screams come from a literal person — you can think of them, remember their looks, their words. Maybe they come from a tabloid or the TV — a screen where pretty faces and enchanting places hundreds of miles away makes you chase after that kind of literal far-fetched, blissful life. Or maybe, if you’re like me, most of them come from inside your own loud, clouded head.
It doesn’t make the accusations stab your heart any less, though. In fact, they bleed the most because you know the victim’s weak valves the best to sever the deepest cut. No matter which way these voices that cripple you find you (for me, it’s all three and I dare say for you, too), somehow certain ones collect at the focal of your being and have a tendency to linger there until they grow to dominate you, sometimes even destroy you.
Some people have an unusual ability to push the voices back and even believe they are not there for a while, walking through life balancing on a cable getting tighter and tighter until the last innocent splash hits the dam and the cable snaps and the floodgates are opened to pour out what was behind the wall the entire time. Others try to swim against the rushing waters, instead being always aware of the voices they are up against but not finding the strength to fight them because they’re gasping for dear life-breath. Others, still, are the ones spewing out the voices themselves, I believe, as a result of a wounded heart that has scarred and hardened to their own voices that have settled their home there much too long.
Do you see? It’s all around us, in each one of us — it saturates our entire being. This longing, this craving for a Voice. This craving to be a voice. We’re all running around chasing after something that at some point a voice told us it was worth the pursuit — maybe for you its climbing the ladder to that position, that place finally where you can prove yourself, or maybe its the white dress you dream of wearing every night while sleeping by yourself or maybe, just maybe–its to simply find enough courage to lift yourself up off the cold ground after you’ve been knocked down by the voices so much that failure yet again cripples you before you even move.
Truth is, you are chasing after voices because you were meant to follow the One Voice, you are stabbed by lies because you were meant to hear the Truth, and you desire to be a voice because you were magnificently designed after the One Who Spoke.
Dear battered and broken, wobbly and weak-kneed — do not miss this — if those voices surrounding you have clamored for your attention to follow only to be deceived, to believe only to be left broken, and you are left knowing at your core they will never, ever reach to relieve that deepest part of you (you can feel it, I know), that core that knows there is more to it than this — if you can feel that, if you have experienced that — then you are right where you need to be.
You are right where you need to be.
Because once your chase has been found to be directionless, your map to be found there’s no place on earth that’s true Home, and you have figured out that what you seek will never satisfy — then you are ready to look up from this pained world to listen and receive the sweet sound of not a shout, but His Whisper. And His Whisper does not accuse, does not trick, does not shame you for the way you have ran and stumbled and fallen to His Feet, begging — no, it picks you up in open arms and gently says “Come to me, child.”
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest'” — Matthew 11:28
Are you ready to tune out those voices and listen to the One that sings melodies to you? Are you ready to stop chasing and instead be chased after by Him who is jealous for you? If you are like me and find yourself at this place often, where this world and your own self has left you despaired and left as a beggar for hope — then this weakness and this hole-ness is perfect for his holiness and his grace and his lavishing love to crash over you in perfect wave after wave.
Finally you and I will be able to not drown in the waters of voices but be called by His Voice away from the shore to the middle of the ocean of unending grace where you will not ever drown again but be hand-in-hand with the One who walks on waters.
“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
I am tired of listening to the noise around me and in me. I am tired of pursuing things that leave me wandering away from You and empty. I am left a beggar at Your feet ready to come home. I crave to know you, and to hear and believe no other voice but Yours. Will you come and speak to my heart? Will you crash your waves of love and grace over me? Thank you for never giving up your pursuit for me. Please help me to trust you to stop listening to the voices that drown, but to walk above them and listen only to Your voice. Thank you for wildly loving me and speaking the Truth I crave to hear, the Truth that will set me free. Amen.