That Still Small Voice

It was 12am (Or was it 2am? Is there a difference?) when my 7-month-old daughter started wailing in her crib. After going through my normal troubleshooting techniques, I decided it was time for our go-to herbal remedy to combat digestive issues. With the baby in one hand and remedy in the other, I stumbled into the dark bathroom, trying to avoid as much light as possible with the hope that my daughter would go back to sleep shortly.

She was screaming and I was trying to remain calm while collecting in a syringe the appropriate amount of liquid gold from a bottle that was far too close to being empty for my comfort level, if I’m being totally honest with you.

None of it was going well.

I was so tired, she was so upset, and it is surprisingly difficult to pull alarmingly low levels of liquid out of a bottle. The short of it is that this effort ended with both of our faces, along with the floor, counter, and mirror, covered in the herbal remedy. And, wouldn’t you know, the syringe remained empty?

This is primetime for a mom meltdown. I’ve had my fair share of them and this midnight moment covered in a sticky remedy while holding my screaming child was basically begging for an adult tantrum. However, standing in that dark bathroom at 2am (or was it 12am?), I didn’t feel a meltdown coming on. In fact, I didn’t feel much of anything except for total peace. Somehow, over the sound of my screaming child, I heard a small voice reminding me that this is only a season and, believe it or not, I’ll miss these midnight moments someday.

This is what’s so sweetly unexplainable about faith. It’s often in the midst of the most ear-splitting and chaotic experiences when I hear the stillest, smallest voice the loudest. I cannot be shaken because, with faith, peace is not something I’m chasing, it’s something I already have.

A couple of weeks ago I preached the sermon at our beloved church. Though I’ve preached a few times in the past, I always feel very aware of the honor and responsibility in sharing God’s Word with others. That’s a fancy way of saying I get really nervous.

With hours of sermon prep ahead of me on Saturday night and my husband away at work, I took care of our daughter that evening with the hope that bedtime would come quickly and go smoothly. As I walked around with her in my arms, slowly bouncing her around our brightly lit Christmas tree, I felt my sermon-induced nerves begin to take over.

But then, that still and small voice. “The enemy doesn’t get to tell us who we are, baby girl,” I said to my daughter, hoping I’d have the ears to hear my own words. “Only God gets to tell us who we are.”

It was that small-but-mighty voice reminding me that I don’t have to feel shaken about what tomorrow will bring because peace isn’t something I’m chasing, it’s available now.

If faith is, as Hebrews 11 tells us, “the reality of what we hope for and the evidence of what we do not see,” then that still, small voice I keep hearing from must be the voice of faith. In the midst of overwhelming circumstances, it keeps my feet firmly planted in peaceful places. I don’t have to wait for a season of life when my child can sleep through the night or I can build and deliver a sermon without worry, because I don’t have to chase peace. It’s here, available to me now, even when my kid is screaming and we’re both covered in the stickiest herbal remedy imaginable.

With faith, we don’t have to wait for our circumstances to be clean and easy because the still, small voice of the Lord reminds us that peace is already within and around us—kind of like taking a dark bath in sticky medicine.

Mallory Redmond embraces anomalies–she is an adventure-loving homebody who keeps a clean house yet always makes a mess while eating or brushing her teeth. She loves dry humor, clean sheets, and gathering around the table with friends. Mallory and her husband, Darren, live in Ohio with their beagle, Roger, and daughter, Evelyn. You can follow her writing here, where her stories are told with the hope of further uncovering the places of connection in our humanity.