A few times a week I experience “Awhhh.”
Often during the weekend, I receive a spontaneous text from my daughter or her husband, wondering if we could go to our apartment complex hot tub. As often as able, I jump at the idea. As we shed our robes and sink into the hot water, we often voice the sigh of, “Awhhh.” The soothing water tingles our toes and envelops our bodies. As we soak, we settle into meaningful conversation. “Awhhh.”
Most Wednesdays I enjoy helping with my granddaughter, Evangelene (Eve, for short). She and I pass the morning by reading books, playing with blocks and stuffed animals, staring at the green trees outside the window, and enjoying a bottle or two of milk. At nearly six months old, she has discovered her voice.
Recently when I was with her, she stood on her feet, held my fingers for balance, and sang out a variety of wordless songs. She delights my soul as I watch her contort her face and maneuver her mouth to create sound. She makes Awhhh and Oohhh sounds. Sometimes she bubbles with her lips pursed together and at other moments, she hums. As I listen to and watch her, my heart soars. I feel privileged to watch this vocal development. “Awhhh.”
Eve’s moans, groans, and signs captivate my ears and heart. She often smiles as she contorts her face to create new sounds. She seems talkative in the most wonderful way. 😊
When have you been aware of someone’s wordless voice? With a child, aging adult, someone with an injury or physical handicap? What have these sounds stirred within you?
Perhaps I can offer a creative approach to those voiced utterances. As I ruminate about Eve’s developing voice, I wonder about the words written by the apostle Paul in Romans 8:26-27.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Over the years these verse have offered comfort and hope to my soul; I regularly share them as an encouragement to others, as well as a reminder to myself. Upon engaging with Eve, I noticed the truths of these verses sink more deeply within me.
Paul wrote that in the similar way that followers of Christ eagerly await with groanful anticipation complete redemption as God’s adopted children, trusting that He will fulfill His promises, God helps us today through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with sighs and groans.
Listening to Eve’s awhhhs and oohs caused me to feel curious; is that what it sounds like when the Holy Spirit intercedes for us? I can’t understand what Eve says but it feels beautiful and holy.
When our human limitations prevent the worded voice of what stirs within, the Holy Spirit speaks for us. Wow! When we experience weakness and fail to know how to express ourselves, God Himself, through the Holy Spirit, makes intercession for us. I think that maybe even the Spirit smiles in tenderness and then moves on our behalf?
How does it feel to know God acts for your benefit when you feel speechless?
At times when all I can do is weep I receive consolation from God that the Spirit alive within me translates my tears into prayer for my very needs. As the Holy Spirit petitions for me, it is perfect because He searches the hearts of those whom He helps, and He is able to guide those prayers according to the will of God. When sorrow, uncertainty, and despair disturb your soul, remember that God’s presence accompanies you and offers holy groans for you. The Spirit’s awhhhs make sense.
I also recognize moments of praise which leave me without words as well. Have you ever seen a beautiful sunrise or sunset and noticed words fell short? Or, received news of divine intervention or the miraculous and mere talk unsuccessfully captured the grandeur and awe of the power of God? Maybe in these moments of human impediment, the Holy Spirit expresses our praise and worship before our awesome God?! When our words seem few, God invites us to trust the Holy Spirit to say what needs to be said.
If you find times when you struggle to speak the words which rightly reflect your soul, know that the Holy Spirit, our helper, communicates for us. God loves you so much, He purely lifts up that which stirs in your soul. His utterances declare what is true, right, pure, holy, and lovely.
Take a moment to thank God for praying for you when an awhhh, groan, sigh, or oohhh offer the most accurate “words” within your inmost being.
When we have wordless prayers of praise or a wordless prayers of pain, God intercedes with His own groans and sighs. And, it is beautiful to our Heavenly Father! I smile as I recall Eve creating new sounds with her lips, voice and face; sounds enveloped in love, peace, and truth. Sounds which reflect our own internal stirrings when words fail. Awhhh: God is Good.
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
John 14:16-17 – And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Andrew Murray. The Indwelling Spirit. Minneapolis, MN. 1979.
Francis Chan. Forgotten God – Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. Colorado Springs, CO. 2009.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Phillips, Craig, and Dean. Let My Words Be Few. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36IRLHCJMdQ
Kalley Heiligenthal. Spirit Move. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbdSQ8MLnYs
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
October 7-16 – Cape Town, South Africa
I will be serving those at the GTP Global Gathering by loving, listening, and learning.
October 21 – Littleton, CO
Breathe Retreat (A two hour spiritual retreat for women) – Join us. Email me for more information.
October 25 – Littleton, CO
Front Range Christian School Elementary Staff Meeting