Last week I joined my family in celebrating the birthday of my wonderful granddaughter. They visited Woodland Park Zoo as part of her celebration. Twelve of us braved the chilly 45 degree weather in the rain to give her an adventure! Through foggy glasses and wet masks, we wandered through this amazing place. Some exhibits were closed because of Covid (the inside warm ones) but it excited us when the baby giraffe came out from its barn to entertain the kids, the orangutan turned and greeted us out from under his blanket and then promptly turned over again covering himself up from the chill. Aside from a few birds chirping, the animals were quiet.
As we wandered toward the snow leopard’s encampment, someone told my daughter, ‘oh, they are in their den’. Curious to see what they could see, they stepped closer to the viewing area. Around the building came this majestic cat. He stopped and opened his mouth—but not to roar! (Apparently snow leopard can’t roar!) The best way I can describe it as an extremely loud, screechy wail, sort of like he was saying a very long “ow”. The sound resonated throughout the zoo. My daughter-in-law was at the zoo’s entrance and heard it and wondered what it was. The sound definitely caught everyone’s attention.
As I listened, I pondered if this creature, created by our God can make such a penetrating sound, what will the voice of our God sound like, thundering from heaven? Psalm 29:3-9 declares: the voice of the Lord is upon the waters, the God of glory thunders, the Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. 2 Samuel 22:14 The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice. I’ve read these passages, but rarely really focused on the power of these descriptions, meditating on what that voice would actually sound like. After hearing this snow leopard’s voice, I can only imagine the intensity, decibel level and attention grabbing that sound it will be.
We are so blessed to have access to God’s voice as He leads us by His Spirit. The still small voice that spoke to Elijah still speaks His comforting words to us as His sheep. But I wonder if that still small voice that lovingly calls us may get drowned out by our own voice, or the voice of others? Do we give that Voice the reverence that we should? Just as a mother’s voice whispers in comfort to soothe her child, they can also raise it with danger warnings. They train their child to recognize their voice, as does our Heavenly Father. We are in His training period now.
Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet. I am sure it caught John’s attention! This is the same Voice we hear in our hearts. We discover in reading through scripture that it describes His voice as the voice of thunder and the sound of many waters. Hebrews 12:26 declares His voice shook the earth. It is hard for me to comprehend a voice that powerful, but I know it’s real.
I believe as we are moving towards globally tumultuous days, we must get a greater grasp on who our God really is. One day He will appear. One day every knee shall bow and tongue confess that He is Lord. One day we will hear His voice in ultimate authority and power. Let’s practice listening now. Luke 9:35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, My Chosen One, listen to Him. It is great to hear His voice, but much better to listen and obey it.
Father, I ask that you open our ears to hear your voice, no matter how soft or loud it is. We ask you to speak to us and as Samuel once said, ‘speak, and we will listen’. I acknowledge it is a privilege and necessity to hear the voice of the Creator of the Universe in the quiet places of my heart. You are THE Voice I want to hear and obey. Thank you, dear Lord.