when God shouts


God speaks/google images
God speaks/google images

How can life be going along so smoothly and all of a sudden the heart is grotesquely wrenched in two? But can a heart be wrenched in any other way but suddenly?  Hearts don’t break slowly. They may crack, they may get damaged, but they break suddenly.

Someone is hurt, or worse, in an accident. Parent’s tell they’re children they’re divorcing.  Someone is given a life-changing medical diagnosis. A fire ravages a home. A tsunami destroys a town. A plane crashes. The list can be as long as our imagination can take us.


But just as suddenly, God shows up.

In unexpected and unusual ways.

In ways that are so sweet and unexpected, we forget to exhale. It’s like our spiritual nerve endings have pierced our fragile layer of skin and we feel a kind of exquisite pain. A pain we can’t describe.

We hear a song on the radio. Is God singing to us? We see a billboard and the words become a personal message. God, is that you? We talk to a stranger and their message is so right-on, we catch our breath. Our sensitivities become so heightened we hear God’s voice everywhere. People become conduits for God to channel His words..

We hear so often that God speaks in a still, small voice and He does, but sometimes…….

God shouts.

He shouts to us in our fear as much as he whispers to us in our grief. Maybe there’s a reason for that. Maybe our fear is so intense, so all-encompassing, we won’t hear Him any other way.

When the crisis slams us, the voices in our head become a cacophony of intrusive and anxious thoughts so loud we can’t hear anything else. Thoughts we were sure were foreign to our what we think is our mature mind. We are so blindsided by our crisis, God has to shout. Like He did with Job. From a whirlwind I might add. Just how loud do you think God had to speak?

(Verses quoted at random from Job 38 and 39, two of my favorite chapters. God continues on in chapters 40 and 41.)

“Where were you, Job (I added Job’s name because that is who God is speaking to), when I laid the foundations of the earth? ………….Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place?……Can you send  forth lightnings?…..Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up?…….

Job did NOT have to ask, “You talkin’ to me?”

There was no doubt.

We are overwhelmed by His voice. We are awed and speechless

Eventually, some questions emerge. Why haven’t we heard Him like this before? When the crisis is over, will we hear Him again? Will He be silent? We want the crisis to stop, but we don’t want to lose this connection no matter how loud God is speaking.

We don’t have to.

God draws near to us in our moment of fear because our fear has immobilized us. We can’t move at all. But God doesn’t move away when the fear is gone. We do.

It’s something to think about.