The Cormorant – Hearing God’s Still Small Voice
by Jean Mulquin
“Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, ‘Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.’ They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
A short distance down the beach they came upon another pair of brothers, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. These two were sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their fishnets. Jesus made the same offer to them, and they were just as quick to follow, abandoning boat and father.
From there he went all over Galilee. He used synagogues for meeting places and taught people the truth of God. God’s kingdom was his theme—that beginning right now they were under God’s government, a good government! He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the ‘Ten Towns’ across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan.” Matthew 4:18-25 (MSG)
My mother and my mother-in-law lived in the same complex in Cottonwood, AZ for a while, and after having breakfast with my mom, we went for a walk around the lakes at the state park. There was a big brown bird, sitting on a rock in the lake, sunning itself. None of us had ever seen this bird before. He didn’t have a long neck like a crane and he had a bright yellow/orange beak.
The next morning, mom and I were having breakfast at her favorite cafe and I was thinking about that bird. I heard in my mind, “It’s a cormorant”, so I told mom what I had heard. She said, “Look it up on your phone, sis!” We looked it up (I wasn’t even positive of the spelling) and sure enough it was the same bird!! My mom said, “God is amazing!”
We saw two cormorants in the same place, the next time we went up to visit our moms. We watched them for a long time. Later on, when my mom was living with us, right before she passed away, she said to me, “I’ve thought about those birds so often, I would always look for them every time I went for my walk, but the only time I saw them was when I was with you and John….isn’t that strange?”
I did some research on the cormorant and learned that fishermen in China have used them for centuries to catch fish. They tie a string around the bird’s neck, send it into the lake to fish and then take the fish from it since it can’t swallow. How like the enemy to steal our catch from us after he ties us all up with sin and trauma!
About three months after my mom’s death, while on our way to work, John and I saw three cormorants fishing in the ditch less than a mile from our home! It was a wonderful memory of those special times with mom.
Do you recognize God’s voice?
Have you ever done research on something you felt God was saying just to you?
If not, what do you think could be blocking you from hearing that “still small voice”?
Share with us your thoughts below, and how this message spoke to you about things you can do to unpack when God is talking to you.
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