And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

Sometimes the Lord’s instructions to us are as specific as this: turn right, turn left, etc. Sometimes they seem more cryptic, as if we need a secret code to decipher what He is saying.

I remember a time when the Lord spoke very loud and clear and told me what to do. In fact, it has happened several times. The first time I had never heard His voice before, so He needed to “shout.” The second time I was “hard of hearing.” Again, He needed to “shout.”

We prefer it when the Lord “shouts at us” because then it takes all the guesswork out of it. We don’t have to think, decipher, or hesitate. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt what He is speaking.

If you are married, would you want your spouse to shout at you every time he or she needs to get your attention? I think after a while we would say, “You don’t need to yell at me, I am right here. I can hear you just fine.”

In the same way, the Lord doesn’t need to shout at us all the time if we pay attention to what He says. We can hear Him just fine as it is.

Why do we expect the Lord to shout at us all the time? Does it make us feel better if He shouts at us? Does it take our responsibility out of it, to pay attention to Him at all times?

The closer we get to the Lord, the more He speaks to us in whispers. Sometimes we don’t like whispers; we prefer the megaphone. Then there is no mistaking the words He is communicating to us. Sometimes we mistake the whispers for Him not communicating to us at all. After all, why wouldn’t He say it loud and clear?

What if He is silent? To some of us, that is scary. What if God is mad at us? Has He withdrawn His presence from us all together? Has He left? Where has He gone?

Really?! We know this not to be true. Then why do we think that? Could it be that God is just communicating His good pleasure to us by His silence? Maybe His silence is a smile rather than a frown. What basis do we have for our self-evident conclusions?

We should be careful how we interpret the silence or whispers of God or even when He speaks to us in mysteries. He may be more pleased with you than you think.

God loves to communicate with us, His creatures. Don’t be surprised if it isn’t always as loud and clear as you would like it to be. He is also the God of mysteries. He loves mystery. Have fun with the way He likes to change things up. Who knows? Next time He might clearly tell you, “go right” or “go left” and it’s as if there was a voice right behind you directing your every move.

By Ralph Veenstra