Recently our Pastor has been talking about listening to God’s voice. To do this, we have to be able to know His voice. To know His voice, we have to be in frequent communication with Him. We must also know the Word of God, reflecting constantly on what we read in the Bible. As well as ongoing intimate prayer time, we must learn to wait on Him and ‘listen’. if we are to simply recite off a slew of petitions and then close down prayer time at that time, it is not being receptive to hearing from Him.
One has to wonder then, why do we pray? Is our time of prayer a means of asking for things or to cry and complain about our lot in life? Or are we really striving to be intimate with our Abba Father? Do we really want a relationship with Him or are we using Him and His open heart to be our own personal sounding board? I ask myself this from time to time and looking back on my life over these past forty plus years, I can see many times when I have failed miserably. I will also admit with as much humility as I can muster, that thankfully I am able to see growth too. I would say, that like a child developing into a teen and then a young adult, there are times of growth often in spurts. Months or even years when it would seem things are at a standstill, whilst friends and classmates are stretching beyond in inches and feet, growing faster and stronger in our human eyes. Such a child often feels frustrated and though he would like to be bigger, taller and more mature physically, but there is nothing he or she can do to control these spurts. Or is there? I recall two of my rather short for their age brothers spending hours hanging from a monkey bar set, trying desperately to gain some height. They may have ended up with longer arms but they remained undertall well into manhood. Handsome brothers but not tall by any means! I recall my own son telling me when he was about ten or twelve years old, “Mom, I am aiming to be six foot two one day.” Cute and adorable my son, but you will be what you will be. He might have surrounded himself with disappointment to the extreme or he could accept what God had always intended from before he was born…In the meantime, I watched him grow inwardly and I stood by his side with pride as he became wise beyond his years compared to many friends and classmates his age. He is now a rather nice five foot ten as an adult. What he could control during his years of development was how he nourished his body both nutritionally and athletically.
In my own times of growth, I can see where I stepped forward and allowed myself to be molded and shaped by various life’s circumstances. For every stagnant lapse, there were more times of growth. I am happy to say that this year as I creep reluctantly towards my 65th birthday, I am still learning. I am still growing and learning to rely on God. I am praying and listening; I am praising and waiting for His guidance and direction.
I write this as I sit on an airplane heading for my homeland after a brief trip to the frigid North (Vermont). My husband sits on my right side, deeply engrossed in his book on his ipad and listening to some country tunes. It is as though I am alone. But on my left side is a very nice looking gentleman. He has been quiet and just as I wondered if God wanted me to talk to him about Jesus and Salvation, the flight attendant came by offering soft drinks. The man whose life I was about to change forever, reached across me to accept a ginger ale; he excused himself to me and I almost PASSED OUT…the dear man has to have the worst breath I have even beheld on any human being…in fact, even worse than my stinky dogs’ breaths! Oh my dear Lord, surely this is your way of telling me to “Be still…” I shall herein now pause this missive to pray for this man and his eternal soul, because my dear sweet Jesus, I cannot talk to him.
What would YOU do?
*** After a time of intense prayer, I took out some breath mints, offering one first to my husband and then to him. He declined politely! So being the creative person that I am, I then, in about five minutes flat, compiled a slide show on my own Ipad of various scripture quotes and lovely photos accompanied by inspirational messages of Salvation and so on. I set up the ipad so that he could easily follow along and sat back closing my eyes….
Again I ask….what would YOU do?