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When You’ve Lost Your Voice

by Sandra Heska King

I’ve been reading this week about Zachariah in Luke 1.

He draws the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve behind the curtains.

The greatest day of his life.

He’s gone a long time though, and the people outside get concerned.

Not to worry. He’s just back there in the holy of holies talking to Gabriel about a discarded dream.

And he’s having a little trouble reclaiming it.

Because the years have passed, and he’s pretty old.

When he finally stumbles out, the people are relieved and a good bit stunned.

Zachariah’s trembling, his eyes are big as discuses, and he’s hyperventilating.

It’s pretty obvious he’s had some kind of vision, but he can’t articulate it because he’s been struck speechless.

He’s lost his voice.

All he can do is try to act it out Charades-like, make some signs, but there’s no way he can fully express what he’s seen and heard.

When his service is over, he goes home to his wife to try and tell her it’s never too late to resurrect the dream.

He’s plunged into silence for nine months plus.

Did he write during those times or let the words smolder as he watched the dream grow?

Did he wonder at how God not only heard his prayer from the beginning, but answered it at the right time in His time and far beyond what Zachariah would have ever expected?

Would he in his wildest thoughts ever have conceived that he would be the father of the forerunner of the Messiah?

When the child is brought for circumcision, the friends and relatives call him Zachariah, but Elizabeth corrects them.

So they make signs to Zachariah to ask him what he wants the baby named.

(That they made signs makes me giggle a little since he was mute, not deaf.)

And as soon as Zachariah puts stylus to tablet to write, “His name is to be John,” the most beautiful words, a song, pours from his mouth.

He’s found his voice.

As a writer, I can take away several thoughts from this story.

1. If we walk with God, He plants His desires in our hearts. That includes the desire to write.

2. He cares about our dreams and hears our prayers.

3. We are never too old to realize the dream.

4. But we may have to live a lot of life before we’re ready to realize it.

5. We will realize that dream at the right time, in God’s time, but it may not be in the way we expected. In fact, it may be way better.

6. That we need not become discouraged or afraid when it seems we’ve lost our voice.

7. That sometimes a period of silence can make our voice even richer when the silence is broken.

Have you ever lost your voice or discarded your dream?

Sandra Heska King is a wife, mom, grandma, and a nurse. Her great-grandfather and great-great grandfather were both lumberjacks, and she grew up on Paul Bunyan stories. Today she lives in the same 150-year-old farmhouse where her husband grew up. She is currently working on an historical novel set in Michigan in the early 1900s.

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9 Responses to When You’ve Lost Your Voice

  1. Linda Yezak says:

    Beautiful, as is all your work. Thanks for encouraging me today!

  2. Donna Pyle says:

    Sandra, what beautiful, inspiring words you share here. Your knowledge and love of Scripture pours forth to reveal a truth we can cling to as writers. This is just what I needed today. Blessings!

  3. @Linda: You encourage me so. Always.

    @Donna: Thanks, Donna. It’s what I needed, too. One of my favorite quotes is this by George Eliot: “It’s never too late to become what you might have been.” I even put it on the back of my business card. But maybe it should be tweaked a little–it’s never too late to become what He’s planned for you to be–in His time. Because nothing is impossible with God.

  4. Cheryl Smith says:

    Like balm for the sounded soul, your words. I’m right here with you. Different reasons, perhaps, but still sitting quietly, waiting on God’s timing to release the words.

  5. That waiting–and being. Some of the best work we can do. Yes?

  6. Thank you for this post! I lost my voice when I was young. Piles of mistakes and tragedies stripped my dreams from me, casting me adrift, barely able to keep my head above the raging sea. Thirty years later, I washed up onto shore. I began to write again. The years adrift gave me many stories to tell. I now await the big break–an agent has my manuscript. What will happen? I needed these words today. Thank you for reminding me that God gives dreams and he fulfills them. This post encourages my heart.

  7. Paula Boire says:

    Wonderfully encouraging post!

  8. Lorna Faith says:

    Thanks so much for your inspiring words today Sandra:) I needed that reminder today as I’m slogging through my first WIP. Feeling stranded a bit on an island …needed the reminder that God knows our desires, prayers and will answer in His right time:-)
    Very encouraging!

  9. Mary Allen says:

    Wonderful devotional on a part of scripture I’ve been studying lately. Thank you.

    I think the first time I lost a dream I was five. It was rebirthed several years ago. Now I feel as if its maturity date is close.