Several years ago, our family was looking forward to a February week in Florida for a large lectureship filled with lots of singing, Bible study, and catching up with friends. Like many, we’d battled the common January sniffles, sore throats, and a bit of bronchitis, but by the time we boarded a plane bound for Tampa, our family was pretty much back to 100% healthy. There was just one lingering reminder of January’s respiratory challenges—the occasional dry cough of our youngest daughter.
One night during that busy week, as a crowd of more than a thousand people gathered to sing in a gymnasium, that adventurous 8-year-old convinced us to let her sit with her 10-year-old sister high above the gymnasium floor on the tip-top row of bleachers. We could always see them, but they were a long ways away.
Put that many people together in a confined space during Winter and even when the crowd is “quiet,” you’ll notice a pretty consistent chorus of sniffles, sneezes, and coughs. But I noticed something that night. In the midst of that large crowd and all the noise that came with it, every time my 8-year-old coughed, I could tell it was her. I recognized the sound of her cough above all others, not because it was the loudest, but because it was her cough. The cough of my daughter.
I think about that night when I read Psalm 116:1-2:
I love the LORD, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
Do you realize that the LORD can hear and recognize your voice today? You are one on a planet of billions upon billions of people, and yet, he hears your voice. In fact, he is able and willing to incline his ear to you. Right here, right now. Incredible.
Therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
Today is a great day to put that resolution into practice, to call with others on the God who knows and hears each one of us.
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the LORD. (116:17)
Happy Lord’s day.