This is the third post that I have started today. There were things that I wanted to talk about. Things that I thought were important about judging and salvation. But the thoughts were not forming and the writing felt forced. Apparently God has other things that He wants me to talk about today. And sometimes it takes me two or three (or a hundred) promptings before I hear God’s message.
I believe that God talks to all of us. It’s just a matter of hearing His message. Now I don’t believe that I’ve ever heard God speak to be in an audible voice. Mostly it’s a stirring in my heart. Maybe you’ve heard an audible voice. Or maybe you’ve seen a sign.
The Bible is full of God speaking to people in an audible voice and with signs, and I believe that He is still speaking to us in these ways. Some of the signs in the Bible are very obvious like a burning bush or the sun standing still for a day. Other signs, although as amazing, are much quieter: a star shining in the sky or a rainbow after the world has been completely covered by water.
These quieter signs are easy to miss if you aren’t looking for them. The world is so loud and always moving, and I believe we’ve stopped looking for these signs. God is speaking to us all if we would just take the time to listen.
A couple of weeks ago, I was having a rough day. I was running late for everything. The boys were tired and cranky and just making me crazy. We were in the truck, the boys were yelling at each other, and I thought I was going to lose my mind. And then I looked up at the sky. The sun was shining and there were some clouds. And there in the middle of it all was a very small and faint rainbow. That day it hadn’t rained (or snowed), but still there was a rainbow. I pointed it out to the boys, and we all looked at it and calm just settled over the truck. I followed that little square of rainbow all the way home.
That day God was speaking to me. He knew what kind of day we were having. He knew how I was feeling. And He knew what I needed.
I believe that God put that rainbow in the sky just for me. He knew I needed to feel His peace and He brought it to me in a little bitty rainbow that I would have completely missed if I hadn’t looked up at just that moment. I could have ignored it. I could have thought it was just another rainbow. But I chose to see the power of God and the sign He put out there just for me. It was an opportunity for me to see God that I almost missed.
How many opportunities are we missing? How many times is God calling out to us and we aren’t hearing Him? How many times does He stir in our hearts before we pay attention?
We pray for peace, for understanding, for help, but are we looking and listening for the answer to these prayers? I belive that day I actually cried out for help. It wasn’t a whole prayer. Or even a pretty one. It was, “Oh, Lord. Please.” But God knows my heart and he knew what I was asking for in that moment. If on that day you would have asked me what I was wanting from God, I can guarantee that I wouldn’t have said a rainbow. That’s how God works. He always answers, but those answers aren’t necessarily the ones we think we want.
One of my favorite movies is Evan Almighty. I don’t really care for the political message in the movie, but I think the God parts are fantastic. My absolute favorite part of the movie is when Evan’s family has left him. The mom and kids are getting something to eat, and she sends the kids off to do something. While she’s sitting there alone wondering how her life got to where it is, “God” sits down at the table with her. She doesn’t know he’s “God”, and they just start talking. She says that she’s been praying and then “God” says the best line of the movie, “Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”
We need to start paying attention. God is answering our prayers. We just need to listen for His answers. Watch for times to be patient, courageous, to love each other, to be understanding. And if you’re praying for peace or calm, don’t forget to look up to the sky. If He put a rainbow in the sky just for me, think of what amazing sign He is using for you today that you’re missing.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10)