You Have A Voice
Close friends of mine often comment on my childlike voice, or baby voice. I have heard myself on voicemail recordings and it's true that I can sound like I'm five, very high-pitched and often soft-spoken. Many times in conversations I get interrupted and talked over. I have been told it is because it's rather easy to talk over me. Recently, I was at a small youth workers training and I called out to answer a question. The speaker inquired, "Where is that adorable little voice coming from?" The truth of the matter is that I don't have a little voice. In reality, I have a BIG voice. Allow me to explain. Last week, I was reading in the book of Jeremiah in chapter 1, where Jeremiah is called to be the Lords prophet. Maybe you are familiar with the following verses:
"Before you were formed in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." "Alas, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young." But the Lord said to me "Do not say, 'I am too young.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant. (Jer. 1:4-9)
Like Jeremiah, the Lord has set me apart and appointed me to share a message with the world. He has appointed you to share a message with the world. As followers of Christ, we have all been selected and chosen to share the message of His love and His grace with the world.
Also like Jeremiah, I know what it feels like to feel unequipped, unprepared and unqualified. Jeremiah's concern was that he did not know how to speak and that he was too young. Ever feel like you have something important to say but you don't know how to speak or to get your message across? The thought of public speaking used to terrify me. Getting in front of a group of people to say anything was a major event. I would get worked up about it weeks beforehand. I would feel a knot in the pit of my stomach and would beat myself up over it. As I have moved forward in my calling, I have been forced to grow in numerous ways. Public speaking is one of them. Although it still isn't my favorite thing to do, the Lord has done alot of work in me in this area. The one thing I have learned that has helped me more than anything else is that what the Lord has put in me is important. It is God that has put the words in my mouth. The words He spoke to Jeremiah echo in my mind. I have set you apart...I appointed you...I send you...I command you...I am with you and will rescue you...I have put my words in your mouth...I have realized that all my fears about speaking up all have to do with other people. What will they think? What will they say? What if I don't sound like everyone else? Another person would be more qualified or equipped. There is someone else that could do a better of job of conveying this message than me.
The truth is that there is a message inside of you that only you can share...with the voice that God has given to you. God has chosen you to impact those around you and within your sphere of influence with the liberating Gospel message of His redeeming love and mercy towards a broken and sinful world. The message He has given you to share must come from you, only you can share it. There are people that God is sending you to that will connect with your particular story, your background, your experiences.
In her song "Read All About it," Emeli Sande sings about the power of one's voice. My favorite verse says, "You've got a heart as loud as lions, so why let your voice be tamed?" She goes on to say, "You've got the light to fight the shadows, so stop hiding it away." I may be more soft-spoken than others, but I know that my heart roars like a lion. I have chosen to step out and use my voice. I will not allow fear brought by the enemy to silence me. Christians, the light of Jesus shines in you. He has appointed you to fight the shadows of darkness. It's time to speak out. Let your voice be heard.