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“Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn’t that all right? Either or both happens to Jews, but it also happens to the other people. Hosea put it well: I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved. In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!” they’re calling you “God’s living children.”...
Romans 9:20-33 MSG
I have never cared for the sound of my voice on an answering machine, it always sounded as though I was talking through my nose. I’d try standing back a little further to adjust the sound but it NEVER came out quite right, at least to me. My mom would say “You sound fine. What’s wrong with the voice you have it’s the only one you’ve got”. I’d shrug it off and stand there with my sister as proud as can be ready for the alternating parts of: “You’ve reached the Briggs residence. We are unavailable to take your call at the moment. Please leave a detailed message and we will return your call at our earliest convenience. Thank you and have a blessed day.”
As a little girl I lived for the opportunity to simultaneously push down the play and record/pause button on that brown and black AT&T answering machine. Especially when my mom had to replace the tape, yes tape... all “voicemail” hasn’t always been digital ya know. Although, I never thought I sounded good enough I wanted to be heard by everyone who called. My mom let us leave the message from time to time but she always wanted to keep us safe by not letting strangers know children lived there. She would even tell us when we were home alone “don’t answer this phone until you hear me on the answering machine telling you it’s mamma and it’s safe to pick up.” She kept us and our voices safe. She taught us to value our voice, to speak up when spoken to whether the answer is right or wrong and be confident.
However, there have been times I’ve hidden my voice, like when I pray for example. I like praying and especially alone to myself. I know how to pray aloud and have done it since I was a child. I’ve written down my prayers stood in the pulpit and prayed before offering, prayed over dinner, prayed the car would start or for something as small as my nanny’s white radio to start working again because I’d certainly broken it AFTER she just said don’t touch it. But I never really prayed aloud to God, on some things that were major. Somehow over time, I hid my voice.
It wasn’t until recently that this came full circle, like last week type of recently. My prayer group had a prayer call and one day was open for someone to pray. I wanted to do it,. I felt led to do it but didn’t. I didn’t think my prayer or me praying it was good enough, I was afraid of how I’d sound. That maybe I wouldn’t know what to pray, so I left it for someone else to do. That day was busy with doctor appointments and family stuff but you know God will send His correction. I happened to get a call from two of the main leaders of the call and I confessed why I didn’t do it. Oh, boy did they lovingly smack my hands about how my perspective was wrong. I’m thankful they did this but it made me wonder why God wants my voice what’s so special about mine that He needs or wants it.
I felt like Moses when he made all the excuses of why he couldn’t speak. I told God like He was unaware “You know I had speech therapy as a child, people told and still tell me I sound white when I talk; like that’s even a thing, you know I still stutter at times and tangle words why me?” And then it hit me the enemy knows it’s power in my voice otherwise he’d not try to have me hide it so much. God doesn’t care about the what if’s or why not’s He wants my heart to be that of a servant to Him and allow Him to use me not me use myself. God puts the words in my mouth when I open it for Him EVERY-TIME! When I yield myself to write or speak what He says versus sprinkling a little Jodie in I’m left in awe how a little word helps somebody. It encourages them, it tells them they’re not the only ones who’ve blown it, it makes them laugh, and most importantly it keeps them from giving up. I know that’s not me but that is what happens when I release my sound into this earth with my voice just the way He asks. That’s the power of God breathing and moving and if I hide my voice even when people don’t agree and it steps on their toes I’m doing Him a disservice.
May you be brave and courageous in the Lord to release your sound and voice in this earth without fear. May you be bold enough to soothe the hearts and minds of those waiting on you like David did for Saul when he was tormented. There is no excuse you can give God, no questioning that you could try to put Him through that would get you off the hook. I know firsthand because I have tried it. Not only will He get what He originally asked out of you He will stretch you a bit further. Guess who is leading the prayer call tomorrow morning AND has been asked to lead another one for someone else next Wednesday? This girl right here.
God isn’t giving passes in this season, either you’re gonna come up higher or you’re not. Stop asking for Him to use you or crying out you want to be used but when the time comes you say “oh I cannot do that.” Myself included. My voice is powerful if it wasn’t He wouldn't have given me numerous scriptures to back it up and even if He didn’t provide any references who am I to argue with the one who created me?
Lord, forgive me for not seeing myself and my gifts as you do. You created this whole world by speaking and that same power lives in me. I will open my mouth, use my hands, open my arms, wear out the knees of my pants praying and soles of my shoes to bring you glory with that You’ve entrusted to me. -Amen