I had the privilege to share a story when I felt God’s presence with the Stewardship Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee that met this past Saturday at St. Paul’s in Murfreesboro, TN.
Over our lunch the Reverend Polk Van Zandt asked me, “What do people say when you tell them that you hear God’s voice?” I chuckled a little and said, “I do say that I hear God’s voice and that’s a common question. Some people think I’m a little crazy and then others hope that I’m not.”
I’ve written about a time when I clearly felt God’s presence and heard his voice: MY STORY, but more often God is subtle. Author Ian Cron describes Him with a metaphor: “God can be like a cat burglar. He sneaks in and changes things and you’re not sure exactly what happened, when it happened, or how it happened, but you know that changes have occurred.”
I often have a cacophony of voices in my head, reminding me of errands I need to run, or other things on my daily “plate”. But when I seek God in every aspect of my life, it is more like a couple married a long-time who finishes each other’s sentences. It’s not with arrogant interruption, but instead the voice comes from a common familiarity that grows each day. As I continue to read Scripture daily, worship and rely on my Christian friends, I hear “sentence completions” to my everyday events, and I know that it is God’s voice.
Sometimes it is the exact opposite of what my rational mind has decided I need to do and then I am sure that it must be God! Initially, I was afraid to act on an idea “out of the blue”, but I’ve learned to trust God and realize that it is He who is nudging me in my decision-making.
God’s voice isn’t always audible; instead I can feel His presence in “unreasonable events”. A few years ago I was trying to help a friend pay off some credit cards and my bonus that year arrived one hour after we talked. It was within a few dollars of the exact amount he needed. It was as if God said, “You have trusted me to care for you and now I need you to help your friend.”
I continue to read Scripture daily, worship within a community and surround myself with faithful friends who provide “God’s words” to me. Sometimes it is an audible voice I hear, but more often it is a cool breeze that nudges me to act like Christ and then I know that it is Him.
Then the Reverend Polk Van Zandt said, “It’s okay; I hear God’s voice, too.”
Blessings, my friend,