When God Speaks
There is this song by the band Mumford & Sons that I could listen to over and over again.
The song is entitled “Believe” off of Mumford & Sons Wilder Mind album that came out a few years ago. When I first heard the song, I found myself choked up and fighting back the tears as I listened to it on my car radio. I remember shaking my head and asking myself, “What is wrong with you?”
But that song—it just spoke to me. The singer in the song could be singing to a girl. Or he could be singing to someone else. Because I know that the songwriter (Marcus Mumford) came from a religious family (his parents are both pastors), I get the feeling there’s a lot more going on in the song—like maybe the someone else might actually be God.
Maybe I’m reading way too much into it, but in the first verse the singer is asking why there is so much wrong in the world, and why there seems to be so much silence on the matter. The bridge and the chorus go something like this:
“Open up my eyes, tell me I’m alive—this is never going to go our way if I have to guess what’s on your mind. Say something, say something/something like you love me… I don’t even know if I believe, I don’t even know if I want to believe, I don't even know if I want to believe anything you are trying to say to me.”
There have been so many times in my life when I wish God would speak to me. I remember lying in bed one night when I was going through a really rough season, and I just begged God to say something, anything to me. I wanted to fall asleep and dream that God would appear or send a messenger or something.
In the Bible when God speaks to people and tells them to go do something it always says, “The word of the Lord came to________fill in the blank.” The Hebrew word for “word” here is dabar, which also means “event.”
The more I think about it, experiencing God as an event makes a lot of sense to me. Sure, it would be a lot easier if God just messaged me on my iPhone, or spoke to me with a booming voice from heaven, but maybe God prefers to show up in the events. It’s in the events—the triumphs and tragedies of my life, the incredible and the mundane moments.
In 1 Kings 19:11-13 we read about how the prophet Elijah experienced God as an unexpected event:
11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.Sometimes when we are longing for the booming voice and the dramatic revelation, all we need to do is wait, be still and listen for the "event" of God in our hearts, our spirits and even in the silences all around us.
God will speak. God is always speaking. All we need to do is pay attention and listen carefully.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.