It took all day, but I got the message

It’s been a crazy kind of week. The boys (ages 5 and 4) and I have been trapped in the house for the last 5 days. Between the bitter cold and snow and my husband needing our truck, there hasn’t been a trip out. No going to the library, or grocery store, or even sending the boys out to play in the snow.

The house now feels like it is about 20 square feet.

We have all reached our breaking point.

I’m on edge and my nerves are shot. The boys are loud and appear to fight over EVERY SINGLE THING! And I ran out of coffee creamer yesterday morning.

And through the whole crazy, loud, obnoxious day we’ve had today, the same thing has repeated through my head.

Be still and know that I am God.

It’s like a chorus running through my head. The boys are chasing each other (and the dog) through the house screaming (and barking). I close my eyes, take a breath, and hear:

Be still and know that I am God.

No one likes their lunch (except the dog) and they want [insert any random food we don’t have here].

Be still and know that I am God.

I take a break to read a blog post from a blogger I just found (mustbethistalltoride.com) and its called “Be still and know that I am God.”

Okay, okay. I get it. A couple posts back I talked about God speaking to us and how it takes two or three or more times for me to get it, and today was proof that those words were true.

Be still and know that I am God.

I get it. I know that I’m not in control of what’s happening, but I am in control of how I respond. And how I respond directly reflects how the boys will respond. I need to take a breath. I need to be still and know that God is in control and knows exactly what is and what will happen.

And it took all day, but I finally got the message. And when I did, the situation changed. Don’t get me wrong. The boys are still chasing each other and hollering. But I’m different.

They are growing up so fast, and someday I’m going to look back on these days fondly. Yes, even the days where they made completely crazy. I’ll wonder where the time went and how they got so old so fast.

Im going to cherish the time when they are small enough to want hugs and kisses and cuddles and tickles.

Im going to remember when it’s just the three of us at home that we are not alone here.

And then I felt at peace. I felt calmer. I felt better. Because I took the time not only to hear God speaking to me but to really listen to what He was telling me.

I believe that God speaks to all of us. Sometimes we hear Him, but amazing things can happen when we take the time to listen to Him.

With all of our gadgets and noise and stuff, it’s hard to hear God sometimes. But it’s even harder to listen. And when we listen amazing things happen.

Be still and know that I am God.

I got the message. It just took all day for me to listen to it.

Don’t miss the sign

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)

Be still.