I’m not a mystic. I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, and if you’ve read read this blog at all, you know that being alone with Him, without any other people around to fill the silence with laughter and music and celebrity gossip has been an acquired taste.
But probably the most life-giving, growing edge to my faith over the past twenty years has been paying attention to the promptings of God through the Holy Spirit.
This may sound sacrilegious, but it’s kind of like going on a joy ride with your crazy aunt and not knowing where you’ll end up. You think she’s gonna zig and she zags. You think you’re lost and bam! You arrive at the edge of the Grand Canyon – more exhilarating than any snapshot could have prepared you for.
Or sometimes not. Sometimes you go for the ride and you end up kicking yourself for getting in the car in the first place. You seem to have ended up in Nebraska maybe, and you’re disoriented and your one question is “Why?” “Why did I let you take the wheel and end us up here in a hard place?” Crazy.
Often you know that these promptings are actually whispers from God because they seem exactly like that – crazy. Something you’d never think of yourself. Something that stretches you outside your comfort zone a bit. Or a lot. But in the end, the craziness is always crazy with love. Kingdom oriented and God-honoring and high-reaching even though we may not see it clearly at first and it may seem a very small thing.
Awhile ago someone came up to me and said, “You know that tiny thing you did 23 years ago? I never told you, but God used it to draw me and my husband back to Him. It was the beginning of our spiritual journey.” My response? Absolutely No. Way. That thing?? That tiniest tiny crazy thing? Only God.
Anyway, yesterday the theme of the day seemed to be these crazy God whispers. And so I thought I’d share a bit of the craziness.
First thing in the morning I was thinking about Eric, the little guy (actually, young man now) that I tutor down at Calvary Church who moved here from Togo four years ago into a new culture in his third language, without a father around. I had asked him who his heroes are and he couldn’t think of any.
When I got home after tutoring him, John and I were talking about another young man, Michael, who we sponsor in Uganda who is now seventeen years old. Five years ago when we were in Africa he stood before us straight and tall and determined and brave. He said he had a dream to be a doctor and he needed our help. Now he is a remarkable young man who is following Jesus and working hard and getting closer to realizing his goal.
And it was like God whispered, “Laura. Michael could be Eric’s hero. You should introduce them.” A tiny thing? Yes. Crazy? Maybe nothing. Who knows? Only God.
Also yesterday I walked around Lake Harriet with two different friends, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Cold, crisp, icy MInnesota walks 🙂 Each of them had stories to share of responding to God’s promptings.
One felt like she was being obedient to God and ended up in “Nebraska” trying to understand why. But as best she could, she was trying to respond to the voice of Love. Crazy and messy, and leaving my friend feeling very vulnerable, but who knows how God will use it.
The other is a friend visiting from Singapore. She has been impacted by the devotional “Jesus Calling” and one day felt prompted to get it into President Obama’s hands. Crazy? She thought so. She prayed more.
Kind of like “Really, Lord? How? And, maybe not.”
Then Hillary Clinton came to Singapore, on a stop before meeting up with the president in Asia. And my friend ended up on the front row for her speech with two copies of “Jesus Calling” in a bag with a note.
Still…”How is this going to happen, Lord? I mean…there are secret service guys for Pete’s sake!”
At the end of her speech, instead of walking out the door away from my friend and towards the secret service guys, Hillary walked towards her. To shake hands. And receive a gift that maybe God will use in her life. Or the president’s. Go figure. Who knows? Only God.
As I reflect on these, the verse that rings in my ears is 2 Chronicles 16:9. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”
“Fully committed.” Listening. And responding. In “big” things and “little”. Even when it seems crazy. Even when we may never know the why or the outcome. God does.
Could you share a way you’ve experienced a prompting from God and responded?