– Mary Emma Tisinger


Suddenly there was silence. Dead silence.

I was on my way to the mailbox, enjoying the beautiful song of the birds nesting in the pines that lined the long driveway. All of a sudden, the birds stopped their singing. The quiet was startling.

I had just stepped off the curb, my foot in mid-air. “Hey, what happened?” I glanced at the pines, looking for the birds. “Why the sudden end to your beautiful song?”

And then, that still small voice: What if there were no birds to sing?

Immediately, visions of a world without birds flooded my mind. There would be no birds flitting through the air, building their nests in the spring, hopping around on the ground, nor adding to the beauty of the environment with their bright and varied colors. And—we would not hear their song.

My heart overflowed with gratitude for the birds and their song—but even more for our wonderful, loving God. His love is so great, not only has He given us this beautiful world to live in, but He makes Himself an intimate part of our lives. In that moment I was intensely aware of His presence, and I knew— the voice I heard was His.

I listened again to the song of the birds as I walked back up the driveway, aware now that I was not walking alone. Aware, also, that God was there—when the music stopped.


There are many sources of beautiful music in our lives, birdsong is only a part of it. Music makes our lives more pleasant and enjoyable, more bearable; but what about those times when the music stops? Those times when we cannot hear the music? Those times when crises come . . . when we lose our job, when we are diagnosed with cancer, when someone we love is killed in an automobile accident? What do we do in times such as these?

It is in times such as these the Lord wants us to remember that He is with us. We have this assurance in His Word:


. . . Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast (Psalm 139:7-10 NIV).


Our heavenly Father wants us to remember that He cares, that He is in control, and that we should trust in Him. This doesn’t mean that the cancer is going to just disappear, or that we are going to be back at work right away. It doesn’t mean that our loved one is going to return. No, there may be some long, difficult days ahead of us. But the Lord assures us that He will be with us, that He will walk with us each step of the way.

Thank You, Father, for your promise to be always with us.

And— for ears to hear, not only the birds and their song,

but the sweet, sweet sound of Your voice.



This post was written by Mary Emma Tisinger.

Mary Emma is the author of Through the Leaves that Fall: Glimpses of God in the Seasons of Life.