The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
In Psalm 29, David is painting a picture of the voice of the Lord, in His magnificent presence, coming down from heaven like a storm that rages over the oceans and sweeps through the forests. We get the sense that David is not only watching this storm but he is hearing it. He is hearing it with ears that understand its source and its power. He is hearing it, knowing its Maker.
The voice of the Lord is shattering. The same voice that brought David’s ears to attention also calls us to attention. This past summer I experienced the Lord’s voice in a brand-new way. In the midst of a prolonged and overwhelming season of ministry, I found myself needing a knee surgery that would put me down completely non-weight bearing for 8 weeks and in a full leg locked brace for 3 months. I moved forward knowing this would be a challenging time but confident that I had the emotional capacity given the experiences that I have already walked through to manage a knee surgery. I had highly overestimated myself. During those first couple weeks of sitting in a chair completely helpless, I battled not only a physical pain that I have never experienced, but an emotional pain of realizing exactly how helpless I actually am. I learned how one day a very strong and capable woman can the next day not get herself out of bed to her chair to read her bible and must completely rely on her children to provide her with food and drink. I instantly knew the Lord was using this surgery to teach me and growme. The overwhelming nature of my life had been consuming me for quite some time and as I let my heart settle into this time of rest, all of the outside voices began to quiet. I have never had such a time of nothingness, solitude, and deafening quiet in my life. The Lord’s voice seemed to be the only thing that remained and it was like thunder crashing in my ears. It was completely safe and gentle but yet powerful and shattering.
I quickly developed a hostile relationship with the brace that seemed to devour my entire leg, especially at night as it seemed to become larger in bed as I fought with it to sleep. Not only did I have enormous pain and instantaneous loss of muscle and strength, but every time I wanted to move and reposition my body this mound of metal that trapped my leg would not let me move. I would have to fully sit up, with my arms turn my leg to a new position, readjust all of the pillows to support it and protect my other leg from the metal, and finally try to go back to sleep. Occasionally, I would unhook the brace to just feel some temporary relief. However, whenever I did, I would feel overcome with fear – the weakest part of my body was now completely vulnerable. The brace. The brace was for my good. The brace was my protection in my weakness. The brace brought awareness. The brace was safe. The brace was God’s grace to me. It was the tool He used so that my ears could hear His voice thundering loudly that not only is my leg vulnerable without a brace but that I am vulnerable when I am overwhelmed with life and the many crowding voices that compete with His. He alone is the brace that protects our weaknesses and heals our vulnerability.
Precious Lord, in the temptation of our daily world to get caught up in trying to do and be too much, in trying to submit under the weighty expectations that others place on us, will you please sweep in and rescue us with your voice alone. Protect us in our vulnerabilities and our weaknesses. Teach us to hear you, strengthen us to obey your voice in what you alone are calling us to each day.
— Vicki Krnac