Not too long ago, I came across a video capturing the moment an infant's cochlear implant was activated. Appearing to be uncomfortable with the sound processor attached to his head, the baby squirmed in his mother's lap. In the background, the audiologist explained what was about to happen and then signaled that the receiver was now turned on.
Softly and sweetly, the mother said, "Hello, my love. Can you hear me? I love you, my little one. Can you hear me?" Immediately, the wriggling child froze. Trying to maintain her composure, the mom stopped speaking. "Keep talking, he needs to hear your voice," the audiologist quickly prompted. Full of tender emotion, she spoke the child's name.
Turning his head, the child stared wide-eyed at his mother. And in a gentle, lilting tone, she continued, "Can you hear me? Hi there! You can hear me? I love you."
Suddenly, it seemed like it all clicked. Beaming at his mother, the child began to laugh and then, seemingly startled by his own voice, started to cry. With compassion, the mother spoke words of comfort to console the child. As the video continued, the child vacillated from broadly smiling to near tears as he experienced this audiological awakening.
A quick search on YouTube will yield a myriad of sensorial awakening videos like this one. And, not just in hearing, but also in seeing color for the first time with enchroma glasses, and, believe it or not, smelling for the first time in 10 years after sinus surgery! While every response is unique, I noticed some common reactions... beaming grins, laughter, hand-over-mouth shock, stunned silence, tears, sobbing, and even collapsing, overcome by emotion, into the arms of a loved one.
To be honest, I usually end up in tears after watching these videos. For me, they tap into an unexpressed longing in my relationship with God: a fresh desire for Him to open my spiritual ears to hear, my spiritual eyes to see, and my olfactory senses to the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.
That longing has deepened as I have found myself numbed and nauseated at times by gruesome graphic images and noxious digital verbosity on social media. I know, my own fault. My dubious excuse of wanting to "stay current on what's out there" to better be able to connect with people, left me empty, dulled only further by the side effect of “accidentally” resurrecting and titillating the old man. The result? Something akin to a self-inflicted spiritual quarantine.
Living on auto-pilot, bumbling my way through self-anesthetized spiritual blah, I wanted... I needed an awakening: to be so freshly captivated by God in such a way that my only reasonable response was a Romans 12:2, "take your everyday, ordinary life and place it before God as an offering" [MSG].
Lamenting my condition on the way to work one recent morning, I began to reflect on my seeming penchant for turning inward for consolation. Mid-whine, the Lord gently whispered, "You are not your best option." To be honest, I was startled. It was the first clear thing I felt like I had heard the Holy Spirit speak to me in days. Pining for that voice, I whispered, "Say that again." His gracious yet insistent reply came, "Son, you are not your best option."
As I have reflected on those painfully true words, I was reminded of Paul's intercession in the book of Ephesians. "I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know him through your deepening intimacy with him" [Ephesians 1:17 TPT]. "Exactly," I thought. "I want... I need a Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him more intimately!"
And so that is what I prayed. As tears of confession began to fill the dry cisterns of my eyes, I sensed the Divine parent, speaking in a similar gentle and lilting tone as that mother to her child, "Can you hear me? Hi there! You can hear me? I love you." And like that child, I found myself vacillating between tears and a broad smile as my heart joyfully exclaimed:
I can see who walks with me, I can hear who speaks my name
I can feel something stirring in my heart
How His words ring strong and true, like a once familiar strain
and I know I'll never be the same.
[I Can See (On the Emmaus Road) | David Meece, Gloria Gaither]
If you resonate with what I have shared, may I pass on that same message? You are not your best option. Instead, receive the invitation to begin afresh with God today. Take a moment right now and join me in praying Ephesians 1:17-18 and Philippians 3:10, thanking God in advance that we will never be the same.
"God of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of glory, grant me a Spirit of wisdom and a Spirit of revelation. Make me intelligent and discerning with personal and intimate insight into the true knowledge of You. May the eyes of my heart, the very center and core of my being, be flooded with light by the Holy Spirit so that I will know, cherish, and grasp the immensity of the glorious way of life You have for me. I bless You for extravagantly providing endless energy and boundless strength as you work in me. Thank You that from this point on, I will continually long to know the wonders of Jesus more fully. By your empowering presence, I will experience the overflowing power of Your resurrection working in me and through me every day. Amen." [Language from the TPT and the AMP translations].
Today, and every day, may we see the One who walks with us and may we hear the One who speaks our name. With beaming grins, laughter, hand-over-mouth shock, stunned silence, tears, sobs, or even a resting embrace in the Everlasting Arms, may our hearts reawaken to One who pursues us with overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love.
And for the sake of the Kingdom, may we daily surrender to this relentless One who in faithfulness draws us close. Why? So that our lives become "an advertisement of this immense power as it works through [us]!" [Ephesians 1:19 TPT]. May we... may you... may I... never be the same. Thanks be to God.
Here is a link to the entire song, sung by Steve Green, I Can See (On The Emmaus Road). If you are looking for a more recent expression of intimacy with God, here is a brand new song that has been equipping me with a vocabulary of fresh intimacy with God by Steffany Gretzinger, This Close. Praying these might be meaningful to you!