Do you ever wonder if God is speaking to you? Or maybe you wonder, how does God speak to us? I know I do. So often I’ll think I’m hearing Him, only to find out that I was totally missing the mark. While other times I’m certain it is my own thought process that is leading only to discover that it really was the Holy Spirit’s prompt. Oh, how I wonder if I’ll ever figure it out?
The other day was a prime example of the latter. Me and my 4 children had spent the day with another home schooling family and late in the afternoon we began our journey home. I’ll confess that I’m not a super planner and have a tendency to only focus on one thing at a time. That day was no exception, because just before we were to merge onto the interstate, I glanced at my gauges and was surprised to see that all important needle pointing very near the “E” on the fuel gauge. Stopped at a light I look up and see a station and the thought drifted through my mind, You should get some gas. I quickly surmise that I still should have plenty of fuel to get us to the city of our destination where my normal fueling station is. Doing so would mean earning those all important points as well as saving a few pennies per gallon. Yes, I’ll wait.
The light changed to green and we begin our journey again. Me, confident that we will save time and a little money by my rational decision.
No sooner did we get out of the city did the horizen light up with brake lights and the rapid deceleration of the vehicles in front of us. As soon as I realized we had all made the quick stop without a crunch, I breathed a prayer of thanks. As we inched forward in the backed up traffic I tried to guess what the hold up was? Construction? Accident? who knew? It wasn’t long though before I realized we might have a second back up on our hands. There it was, that worrisome ding that we were low on fuel. Great.
Traffic was now at a complete standstill. A first responder buzzed passed on the left shoulder of the line of cars. Next a State Police officer. Then the Jaws of Life. Followed by more police and an ambulance. This was not looking very good.
I did the only thing I could. I turned off the car to save fuel, and we prayed for the the people involved in the obvious accident. In the back of my mind however, I couldn’t help wonder, if God had tried to speak to me back when we were at that last traffic light? Was it He who put the thought in my head to look at my gas gauge? Was it He who stopped me right in front of a station that could have saved us from this inconvenient and embarrassing predicament?
I’ve come to the conclusion that it must have been a Holy Spirit prompt. But regardless of whether it was my own rational or if I had totally missed the message that could have saved us from the stress and discomfort of sitting on the side of the highway on a rather chilly evening with an empty tank. If nothing else, it did make me think. Where else am I missing Him? Where else am I not quite listening? I know it happens.
I know it happens in church when my head is bowed and I just barely hear that still small voice and then I finish the sentence for Him. I know it happens when I’m at home trying to survive the day and I snarl at the God images in my care instead of taking time to reach out for their hearts. I know it happens in the time spent on my phone rather than seeing the person in front of me that might desperately need a smile, a word of encouragement or a hug. I know it happens every time that I choose to do something “important” rather than opening His Book and listening to the words printed on the page.
You see, I do believe God speaks to us. He most obviously speaks though His Word. Every time a verse leaps off the page and cuts through to the heart. He speaks to us in the songs of worship and praise. He speaks to us in the quiet moments and in the chaotic moments. And I believe he whispers at the stop lights before we choose our own way home. God speaks to us, for our good. To bring us hope. He speaks and breathes love even when we least deserve it.
The question is: Are we listening?