The silence was deafening. Until I began to really listen. For it was there in the silence that I heard the sweetest sound of all. That still, small voice. That gentle, almost audible and definitely love-evoking voice of the most powerful and wonderful Almighty God. In an instant, He calmed my fears; wiped out any loneliness; and reassured me of His love and everlasting presence. Never run away from your alone time; never crowd your life with busyness just so you won’t feel alone. You may just miss the most precious; the most fulfilling; the most intimate and purposeful moments of your life. Protect those times. Live for those times. Enjoy every second in His Presence. And all of his children said, Amen and Ehmen!
Writer’s Note: As I was browsing my Facebook “memories,” I came upon this one from three years ago. It is a FB post along with subsequent comments as the experience progressed. Thank God for these reminders. I just love how God works. Let him into your life and world and get ready for an exciting journey. This is just a tiny example of undeniable ways that He has made His presence and my purpose known in my life. And I would not trade it for the world. In fact, I want more! I want everything He has to give me! Amen and Ehmen!
Posted on Facebook the early morning of September 21, 2012:
So, my computer shut down unexpectedly and when I restarted it, this unsaved document reappeared. It was something I wrote for my personal God Time journal on Sept. 13. I had completely forgotten about it. The notes at the beginning said “You are about to go through some stuff, but I’m right here.” No big surprise that, if you have been following my posts, “stuff” has indeed been invading my world these last two weeks. Thank God, God knows I have a terrible memory and He brings his message right back to me. Oh, how I love Him:
9/13/2012 6:55 PM Journal Entry:
Tonight as I stepped outdoors to go for our evening stroll together, I took pause when I saw a darkening sky. I debated for a moment whether or not I should go and then decided to go back inside, grab an umbrella and get to stepping. I don’t like to miss time with You.
And, as usual you didn’t disappoint. As I walked along, I felt Your Presence urging me to look up. And there, Your sky became a theatre and the story You told, just like You, will stick with me through thick and thin.
“My child, thank you for trusting me enough to come on this walk,” I heard you say. “And, because of your obedience, I have something to share with you.”
“Look up, child. Though there are dark, ominous clouds rolling in, there are also white, puffy clouds with silver and gold highlights perched ever so gently in the blue heavens. Those white clouds, blue skies and beams of sunshine represent Me. And, even though, storms may roll in, I Am always here. Just on the other side of that dark cloud and whatever it may bring, I, your Father, your Creator, exists, working even in the storm to bring about good. Don’t forget, my child, that this is My story. I Am the Author and the Producer and I control the outcome. And, this Good Guy, won’t ever be finishing last. Just breathe through the storm and know that all dark clouds will eventually pass and you will see Me in all My Glory, smiling and proud of your obedience and faith. Here, child, take a bow with Me.
- September 21, 2012 at 8:32 am: Things started happening that evening and, if you look at my posts, you’ll see no posts from me 9/13 and beginning on 9/14, posts are about stressful events. It actually started the evening of 9/13, which is why I didn’t post this to begin with. Look how quickly I forgot. He gave me a message to prepare me and I just let it sail right out of my head and heart when trouble started. BUT, he brought it right back to me. God is so faithful; even when I’m silly stubborn. Now, off I go to the auto repair shop to see what is up with my AC. Whatever it is, it’s just a thang. Thank God, that I even have a car.
- September 21, 2012 at 11:35am: My goodness, now I understand why God gave me this reminder this morning. :( Breathing through the storm just as He suggested.
- September 21, 2012 at 8:16pm: Still blown away that of all the documents (probably 50 or more) I have worked on over the past two weeks, how THIS ONE unsaved, unnamed document (Document 17) is the only document to grace my screen after my computer unexpectedly shut down. By the way, my computer has been shut down and everything closed at least a dozen times since last week as well. Can I just say wow, again? I am just so glad God is so faithful and patient with stubborn folks like me.
Thursday morning as I was getting ready for work, God began whispering in my ear. While it may not have been audible, it was undeniable nonetheless. He spoke gently and lovingly in that still small voice that I have come to not only recognize, but absolutely covet.
The difference in this and most other occasions where I have heard from God, was that, on this day, I wasn’t purposefully praying or listening for Him. I was just getting ready for my day. I’m sure I was thinking, but I’m not sure what. The truth is I’ve had a lot of things on my mind lately and, while I haven’t really kept it from Him, I suppose I’ve let it keep me from Him somewhat as I spent more and more time pondering and wondering instead of praying and trusting. I guess it was time for an intervention—one of those times promised in the Word of God when the Spirit intercedes and lets the Father know what we need.
So, as I stood in my bathroom, drying off from my shower, I started hearing His whisper. The following is a synopsis of what I heard. And it was definitely something I needed.
“It’s not about speed, it is about endurance. It’s not about talent or works, it’s about obedience. It’s not about you. It’s about Me. And it’s not about pleasure. It’s about MY purpose and the utter joy and peace that comes with a purpose fulfilled…with ME and for Me. If it’s in My Will, it is what is best for you. You may not be perfect, but My will for you is perfect. Trust in this. You don’t have to figure anything out for yourself and I will never leave or forsake you. Lean on Me. Trust in Me. Rest in Me. Breathe in Me.”
Oh, Abba, why do we so often forget how much You love us and just how close You are at all times? Whether we are paying attention or not, You always know just what we need and exactly when we need it. I’m just so thankful that even when my human nature lets me get wrapped up in my problems and worries that You are always willing to gently draw me back. You never get mad at me. You just comes closer and shower me with even more love. I don’t deserve You, but I am eternally thankful that You think otherwise. Thank you, Abba, from the bottom of my heart. Amen and Ehmen.
And the Word of God Says:
Hebrews 10: 35-36: Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.
Romans 8:25-27: But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
2 Samuel 22:31: As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Isaiah 48:17: This is what the LORD says– your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Writer’s Note: Just before Thanksgiving last year, I spent a weekend at a monastery. Knowing that God was calling me there for a little ‘Me and Thee Time,” I went. And, boy, am I glad I did. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew WHO to expect. As promised, He met me there and taught me more in a few moments of silence than I could learn in years of busyness and bustle. Thanks for reminding me of this, Dear Lord, as I have let the loudness of life take its toll on me this week. Back to the stillness, to the silence, to Your Peace! Happy Sunday, y’all. May you find Him in all that you do.
In the silence, I sit. The only sound is the ticking of a nearby clock. Tick tock. Tick tock. The echo of minutes, of hours, of time passing by.
But, you need not be left behind. Grab hold of one of those moments and don’t let go. Delve deeper and deeper into solitude and into that sweet, sweet place that only you and God dwell.
Oh, how much easier it is to hear Him when you are in the same place at the same time. Oh, how much easier it is to see and feel Him when all else falls away.
Why, I wonder, do people fear silence so much? Why do they treat it as if it were a roaring lion trying to devour them when in reality it is the noise and distractions that are most dangerous? Yes, the truth is that silence is beautiful. It has a rhythm which ebbs and flows and harmonizes with every beat of you heart. It is the foundation of God’s own voice, speaking directly to you. Can you hear him? I can.
Lord, may I learn to embrace the silence and You on a daily basis, whether at a monastery or at home where finding peace and solitude is more of a challenge. May I learn to turn down the volume of everyday life so that I can commune with you and hear the sweetness of your still, small and mighty voice every day. I love you. Forever and ever. Amen and Ehmen.
1 Kings, Chapter 19
11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Back a few weeks ago, right before Easter, I became intrigued by Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree. I had only known of the Jesus that blessed and healed things and I wanted desperately to understand the significance of the story.
In the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 11, we are transported to that dusty road between Bethany and Jerusalem, just days before Jesus would be crucified:
Verse 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it…
20As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21Being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”
Withered from the roots up? Hmmm, why was that important enough to note? I closed my eyes and quietened my spirit to listen for The Teacher. The cursing of the fig tree, I sensed, was perhaps a symbolic lesson which Jesus knew the disciples would eventually understand. You see, a fig tree was a source of sustenance in their homeland, and when Jesus found it barren, He became angry; not because the tree was fruitless, but because it was a representation of the condition of His beloved Israel. Like the fig tree burgeoning with beautiful leaves, Israel may have looked amazing from the outside, but there was no fruit to be found. They were just playing a part. For the Pharisees, it had become all about the law and the way they looked. They had gotten all wrapped up in the religion and the rules and were adorned with all the right “leaves,” while in reality they had become too blind and deaf to see what the Father was doing through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ–God’s only son; the way, the truth and the life; the vine; and the very root system that gives life to not only the fig tree on that dusty old road between Bethany and Jerusalem, but to all of us that make up His eternal kingdom. They were too blind to see and so they persecuted and executed Him and Israel withered from the roots up.
Thank God, however, that the story didn’t end there. In true Godly-fashion, our Almighty Father, who is and has always been the same, rewrote the script to the benefit of those who love Him. The world pens a story and our Father rewrites it to please His Grand Plan. “Child, don’t you understand?,” I heard the still small voice say. “My grand plan, which includes the cross, is still in play today and will remain so until My Kingdom has come; until My Will is done on earth just as it is in Heaven. I am the root system. From me, eternal life springs.”
And to that, I reply, “Thank you, Jesus! Amen and Ehmen!”
Writer’s Note: I believe that God loves to show up and show out in the lives of His children. Sometimes it’s in a really big and dramatic way and sometimes it’s in a quiet, subtle way, a little wink from the Creator Himself. I’ve experienced both as I have learned to listen for His voice and both are undeniably exciting. The following is a page from my personal “God Journals” documenting what happened on an ordinary day when I slowed down long enough to listen. I hope you enjoy and that it perhaps grows your faith a little just by reading. It sure grew mine! And, please feel free to comment, I’d love to hear from you. Have a happy day! 🙂
There was a time in my life–in fact, for probably most of my life–that I would pretty much tune out when someone claimed to hear the voice of God. I actually remember thinking how crazy one must be to really think that God would talk to a mere human. Until, that is, I started hearing the voice of God for myself.
Now, while it is true that some people sometimes hear an audible voice, I must admit that I have not to this point in my life. For me, it’s more of a knowing deep in my spirit, that beautiful, still small voice as described in scripture. Why a still small voice, I have wondered. Why does our Big God not have a big booming voice? The answer, I think, is that He does have a booming voice, but He only uses it when He really needs it. He prefers to use His “inside” voice, the one that is reserved for those that are the closest to Him. Do you remember how Christ often took the disciples away from the busyness and noisy world, such as when he took them to the upper room for the Last Supper?
I believe that it is God’s desire that we retreat with him into the inner room, away from all the noise so that he can commune and talk with just us. You see, we live in a very loud world, a world that is filled with bustling busy-work; a world plagued by noisy battles. But, in the “inner room” all of those noises are muted and God’s voice permeates our heart and soul and, if we are paying attention, we just “know.” The key is paying attention and learning to recognize those sweet, sweet moments. In fact, it is my hope and prayer, that next time you have one of those moments where you feel God is prompting you; where you think you hear His voice, don’t doubt it. If a scripture address crosses your mind while praying to God, stop what you are doing and look it up. God has answered so many questions and enlightened me in this manner so many times in recent years. And, trust me, it never gets old.
If you feel God is prompting you to do something and that something does not defy scripture, do it! This, too, has happened to me many times in the last few years with some crazy and amazing results that have left myself and others in awe. Things that seemed small, when done in obedience, turned out to be quite profound, awe-inspiring and, quite frankly, potentially life-changing for those involved.
One such experience happened to me on a recent Sunday afternoon. After church, I went on my usual Taco Bell lunch run. As I enjoyed a quick bite in my car, I made a mental note of my schedule for the rest of the day. It was going to be a tight one as I had many things to do before being due back at Church for the new Sunday evening services. First, I had to go to the bank, then the pharmacy, the grocery store and back home to do a few chores before returning to church. The more I thought about it, the quicker I chewed. I had to get going if I was going to fulfill all on my schedule.