Do you ever hear people say “Then God told me…” and wonder what the heck they are talking about? I did. When I first began to go to church I didn’t know anything about the Bible, Christianity or Christians. Whenever I heard Christians saying that they heard GOd speak I thought to myself; “Self, either these people have shared schizophrenia or something else is going on.” Imagine my dismay when I found out there is a compilation of 66 books written by 35 different authors over many hundreds of years filled with people who heard God speaking, each page written by each author hearing God speak themselves.
The Bible is a truly remarkable thing. I have read many books, and it is the only book I have read over and over and over again. I have studied about it, studied from it, designed a tattoo with it, journal-ed it, put it into art I have made and even made play dough art with it at work. Scripture has become a part of my soul and is written on my heart and my arm. I love the word of God. If you are wanting to hear the voice of the Lord the Bible is a good place to start.
When I was 14 years old I was introduced to the presence of the Lord. To say that it was an overwhelming experience is an understatement. One of the most overwhelming parts of that experience was realizing that God had always been present, I just hadn’t know it. He had always been with me in every moment of my life and I had always sensed Him but I didn’t know who He was. So I began to wonder, was He speaking that whole time and I couldn’t hear Him? Was he speaking now and I still couldn’t hear Him? I had heard so many people at church of all ages saying that God said things to them and I had read in the Bible many tales of God speaking to people. I decided that what all these people were talking about and experiencing as crazy as it seemed MUST BE REAL. If it was real then I wanted it.
I tried for a long time to hear the voice of God but all I heard was radio silence. I began to wonder if God like my mother was giving me the silent treatment because I had done something wrong and He was angry with me. I started to repent from every wrong thing I had ever done in my entire 14 years on earth. I can be a bit melodramatic… I was up at the front of the church every Sunday and Wednesday crying my eyes out asking for God’s forgiveness and and begging Him to talk to me. I talked to my youth pastor who advised me to read the Bible and listen to worship music. He encouraged me not to give up, but I was starting to get really frustrated. I thought maybe I was broken. Maybe I was not good enough for God to speak to me. I tried and strained and still nothing. One night in November when I was 15 about a month after I had fully given my life to Jesus (for those of you counting I was a year older than at the beginning of this tale) I took a giant blanket outside on the balcony of my friend’s apartment to get away and pray. I began to shed soft tears as I said “God I have tried and tried. I have done everything and I still can’t hear you. I give up. I know you are here. I can feel you. I want to hear your voice more tan anything on earth. Please speak to me. I am not going to do anything, or say anything, I am just going to sit here. I am not going to move from this spot even if I am here til I die. I am going to wait and listen until you talk to me.” I was SO mad. I closed my eyes and did something I hadn’t ever done before. I listened with me whole being. I became still and listened. I set aside my rage, insecurity and questions and became still. Within moments it happened. A still small voice from inside me and all around me spoke. I won’t share what the first thing I heard God say to me because it is too sacred to share, but I will say that it was wonderful and perfect. I began to laugh and cry and hyperventilate a little.
I replied “Wow! That is not what I was expecting! Your voice came from everywhere even inside me. I don’t understand.”
He replied, “You invited me to make a home in your heart remember? I am always here all around you and within you. I love you and I will never leave you. Now that you have stopped doing and started listening you heard me. I have been talking this whole time but you were so busy trying to hear me that you forgot to be still and listen.”
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God…
This was one of many, many times I learned that God doesn’t over complicate things like I do.
It is like playing hide and seek with a toddler. You want them to seek you and FIND you so you hide where you can be found. Imagine a grown man hiding behind a lamp post, or a very thin tree. You get the idea. It is like that with God, He wants you to seek Him so that you experience the thrill and joy of FINDING Him the way He found you.
Jeremiah 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
God can speak through the words of scripture, the beauty of the sunrise and sunset, through the lyrics of a song, the vast expanse of the stars, the lines of a poem, the power of the ocean, a painting, the flavor of foods, the colors in a flower, the caress of the breeze, the hug of a loved one, the words of a stranger, the scent of home, the laugh of a child, a smile, a story, or a scene in a TV show or movie. There are countless ways the Lord speaks to you of His love, and His goodness. Be still and know that He is God. He is so good. Listen.
©Rachel Anne Redfield 2019