Feeble and yet powerful in His hands…
Last week, I had the privilege of singing at the Global Leadership Summit in Kelowna, and was able to sit in on a number of fantastic lectures. Amongst an impressive line-up of world leaders in politics, business, and religion, the most memorable speaker for me was a tiny lady from India, named Pranitha Timothy.
She’s the most unassuming, petite (I would look tall beside her!), beautiful lady with a gentle spirit and an even gentler voice. Hoarse and rather raspy, yet the strongest, most sincere voice you could wish to hear. And let me tell you, this little lady has a story!
Working with IJM (International Justice Mission), Pranitha has led over 50 rescue missions in her homeland of India, freeing approximately 4000 slaves. FOUR THOUSAND! So many lives changed… if that doesn’t make you sit up and look a little closer at the screen, I don’t know what will. Let me tell you in a nutshell how this came about…
Pranitha had no intention of changing lives. In fact, her nickname in college was C.C.- “cold and calculated”. She claims her heart was empty, utterly void of emotion, largely as a result of completely rebelling against the Christian faith of her missionary parents. She went through the lowest of lows, and was self-destructive to the point there was “no good” left in her. It was at that point she realized her only hope was in Jesus. In His power, everything changed. Her heart was restored, and her journey began.
After her master’s degree, she earnestly asked the Lord what she should do with her life, seeking direction from THE Master (we can all learn from that alone!) He very clearly led her to a passage of Scripture in Isaiah 42, verses 1-7. It’s fairly long, but I encourage you to look it up when you get a minute. It’s all about bringing justice to the nations, to free captives from prison, to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. Instantly, she knew this was her calling.
How blissfully exciting it is when we just know we are in a place where God wants us to be, following His plans for us! Can you imagine her devastation, when just weeks later she was diagnosed with a brain tumor? It was in her brain and spine, causing paralysis and all sorts of horrific effects- one particularly devastating for this young woman with big dreams.
Her voice was completely gone. She was mute.
Surgeries removed the tumors, some restoration was made physically, but still she had no voice whatsoever. She questioned her calling, her Isaiah 42 passage, which had meant so much to her. Then she re-read verse 2:
“He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.”
Wow. It was pretty clear that she should continue down this path- God was not being vague here- He didn’t need her to have a physical voice! And so she began working with IJM to set about freeing some of the millions of slaves in India. Sometimes the missions were incredibly dangerous, yet she put her life in His hands daily to provide freedom and dignity to the hopeless. God gave her voice back to her two years later… yes, it was weaker, but her message was so very strong!
Often we lament there is nothing we can do to make a real difference- whether it’s in our family sphere, local community or even on a worldwide scale. We are under qualified, overextended, too young, too old, can’t speak, speak too much, have no skills, no gifts, nothing to offer. Someone else will do it.
Pranitha had every excuse to “sit this one out” and let someone else do God’s work. This hidden hero, the voice for the voiceless, gives every ounce of glory back to God, relying fully on Him for everything. In her own words:
“He gave me this voice- feeble and yet powerful in His hands”
Honestly, I feel feeble sometimes. I’m pretty sure we all do. I think it may be time to stop looking at how FEEBLE we are, and focusing on how POWERFUL God is. I’m told I have a rather “strong” singing voice for one so petite, but do I use it full throttle? I don’t mean on stage, I mean as one small voice in a big world… am I brave enough to step out in faith and be heard in whatever way God calls me?
Here’s another verse from Pranitha’s precious Isaiah 42:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.”
As Pranitha Timothy will attest, the Lord takes our hand and He will never, ever let go. “You Never Let Go” is the song we sang after her presentation last week. I hope you’ll take a moment to listen to the link below, and think about how YOUR small voice can be powerful in His hands. Be blessed!