The sounds roaring at us today. Do this. Don’t do this. Do that. Don’t do that. Read this. No, it’s false. Listen to this person. They are telling the truth. No, this person is spewing lies.
Confusion, panic, disorientation, a whirlwind. Deafening.
Do you want to scream back? Let your voice beat against the wall of voices that are building up around you? I know I do. It only feels right to use the weapon of a deep holler to try to combat all the sounds flying at us. How unnatural for us to think that standing quietly in the middle of the chaos would be how He would fix sights on us, hear our heart’s cry, and run to our aid.
With it all swirling around, God brought my attention to Hagar in the Bible. In Genesis 21:14-17, we learn about Abraham sending her and their son Ishmael away, the water running out, and how this causes her to set the boy under a shrub and move away from him because she did not want to see him die. She then lifted up her voice and wept. I imagine this being loud and with deep groaning. She had been sent away and now she felt like she had no hope and that her son would die there in the wilderness.
What struck me, though, is that while she is weeping and crying out, God hears the voice of the boy. The Bible doesn’t make mention of the boy speaking or crying or praying, but I would like to think that maybe since we don’t know of him making any sounds to God, that God was hearing his heart’s cry. Perhaps praying, silently, for his mother in her distress. Or maybe his words were like a whisper that slammed into the ears of our God.
This hit me so hard, that I found myself looking up the scriptures in different versions of the Bible just to make sure that I was understanding it correctly. In every one that I looked into, it was made clear that God heard the voice of the boy. I, without a doubt, know that He heard Hagar too. He isn’t selective in what He chooses to hear and do but I feel the Bible mentions that He heard Ishmael over Hagar because God wants us to understand that He hears and understands our innermost thoughts. He can grasp what our hearts are longing for without us ever having to mention a word.
I believe there are times for our shout to ring out. For us to lift our voices and make a joyful noise to the Lord. When we are declaring healing and deliverance over situations that can only be overturned by God. But on the other hand, I’m so thankful that even when words can’t be formed, He hears. He knows. He helps. In the quiet, we can be assured that He is bending down low to hear us.
I can’t imagine what Hagar was feeling. The pain, shame, anger, and resentment among a myriad of other emotions. I do understand, though, how all these feelings coming at her all at once from different angles would have caused her to so easily forget the boy wouldn’t die there. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude Genesis 16:10. The anguish that she was experiencing caused her to let go of the promise that God had already given her. All she could see was being lost, without water, and with no way to help her son. But here is where God teaches us that all we need to do sometimes is remember His word, let it be hidden in our hearts.
Even more amazing to me is the fact that God told her to name him Ishmael which means “God will hear,” (Genesis 16:11). From the very beginning, He was letting her know, that He hears her. She then called God “El Roi” because she knew that God saw her as read in Genesis 16:13. Life doesn’t always cause us to come rushing at God, voicing everything that we feel is going wrong in our lives. He sees us and He hears our hearts.
I implore you to steal away with Him. Shut out the sounds of the times we are living in. Shut out the sounds of the media as they try to turn faith into fear. Shut out the sounds of negativity. Shut out the sounds of the naysayers. I promise you, He already sees you and He will also hear your heart without you ever needing to mention a word. Let His presence sweep over you. Let it infiltrate your mind.
Then, when you feel the grace of God begin to strengthen you, find your voice and shout for the victory.
Rachelle Fontenot is a Certified Pharmacy Technician and a brand-new writer. Rachelle has attended Livingway Pentecostal Church for 20 years. There, she shows her love for God through singing on the praise team and in the choir and through dramatized worship and theatrical performances. One of her greatest joys is singing alongside her husband, Allen, at church. They have been married almost 13 years and have 4 amazing daughters, Taylor, Aubrey, Edynn, and Norah.