…speaking of, I have actually had entire conversations (meaningful ones) composed entirely of grunts. I think that this is something that women don’t understand. Nonetheless, the ways that we can effectively communicate with one another are nearly endless. Not only are there many forms of body language through which we can express ourselves (it’s something like 55% of all communication), but a variety of intonations, pitches, etc that communicate meaning.
So, the ability to have a meaningful conversation through grunting shouldn’t really be surprising (though it seems like it often is). It’s one of the primary ways that we communicate with God as well. I’ve been reading through Romans in my devotions (love Romans!) and a part of Romans 8 (8:26-27) struck me today. Anyone who’s been a Christian for long has had a time when they simply didn’t have any words for God. Sometimes we just aren’t sure what to pray for (I’m there a lot), and sometimes we honestly don’t know how to pray. There are no words for the pain, fear, grief, joy, hope… really whatever excessive emotion has led the supplicant to this point of mental collapse… that we feel.
At these times all we can do is groan or grunt, possibly moan (zombie-style!), or even just scream. We have no words, but we certainly have meaning, even if we aren’t really even sure what that meaning is. In these times the Spirit within us conveys our meaning, known or unknown, to God. God knows us, better even than we know ourselves. He knows when we are seeking joyful communion with him, when we are being selfish, when we are hurting, desperate, terrified. He knows when we need to just cuss at him, and he knows when he needs to cuss back.
I am a stubborn man, and there have been many times when the only thing that got me moving was God telling me to “just shut the fuck up and do it!” I’m not going to say that he speaks to everyone this way. Honestly, I kind of doubt that he speaks to most people this way. However, God knows us. He knows what we need, and what we need to hear. He knows how to speak to us, both in love and in wrath, to bring us where he wants us.
We also serve a demanding God. If anyone tells you that being a Christ-follower should be easy punch them in the face. …Okay, don’t punch them in the face, that will probably land you in jail. However, tell them that they’re wrong. Following Christ isn’t easy, and it isn’t supposed to be easy. It can, and probably will, be one of the hardest things a person can ever do. There have been many times that I wanted to give up, walk away, and chuck the whole Christian thing.
Then there’s this still, small voice, accompanied by a giant hand beating me over the head with a mallet! Not entirely, but it does feel that way sometimes. God doesn’t let his people go easily. However, he really is always there: to take care of us, to love us, to rejoice with us, to comfort us, to guide us, to teach us, to encourage us, to counsel us, to strengthen us. God never stops working in or working through us, and my deepest prayer is that he never does.