Yes, Lord, I asked you a direct question. I asked, “How much longer, Lord?” Your answer was, “It won’t be much longer now.” Not an audible voice, I felt the answer as it entered my heart, understanding completely that it was your very comforting response.
Almost immediately, though, the doubt set in. “Was that you, Lord? Did you really mean that I won’t have to wait much longer? Well, what does ‘not much longer’ mean, Father? Everybody knows that your time isn’t always the same as our time.”
By the end of the conversation with my Heavenly Father, I almost decided that I was really hearing my own desires reflected in my heart. Maybe I didn’t even know my father’s voice anymore.
Wait! What’s that? “My sheep know my voice.”
Oh, yes, Lord. I am familiar with that scripture. Your word says that we know your voice.
I remember other times, Lord, when scriptures came to mind. Once, after hearing from you, I couldn’t wait to get back to my office computer and see if there was a scripture backing up what I believed you had just told me. I know that anything you teach me will follow the teachings of the bible. I found the scripture on Bible Gateway and delighted in knowing that you had directed me to it!
I remember other times, too, Lord, when you’ve shared thoughts with me. I’ve spent many hours sitting in the backyard, basking in your presence, listening as you impress upon me the words to write and share with others. Those moments spent listening and learning from you are some of the most peaceful and amazing times of my life.
Sometimes, Father, after you teach me something, you also kindly show me. When you wanted me to be joyful not because of circumstances but because of the hope of Christ that is ever present, you told me to be aware of the blessings of each day. I tuned in to my world and the wonders in it, impressed by the awesome beauty of your creations. There are many moments in a day that are “picture perfect.” Sitting in our gazebo with my husband early one evening, I saw two of the most amazing hibiscus blooms. Extremely large and vibrantly colored, they seemed to be shouting, “Hey, look at me!” I laughed and told my husband, “Every day is filled with blessings and gifts from God if we take the time to be observant.”
You’ve been with me, too, Father, when I didn’t have the words to say to hurting friends. I can always cry with them and hold them close to my heart, but anything I might say sounds empty. I’ve learned to trust that when I am still, praying and listening, you will give me the words that will be of the most comfort to them.
I know you respond to us in ways that we can understand. Countless times, I’ve grabbed my bible, questioning, quickly opened it, and there, right in front of me, is a very direct response. It’s not coincidence that the scriptures we read in our bibles, seemingly at random, are just the ones with the answers to our current questions.
There are times, too, during conversations with friends, when the lessons I have been learning from you, Lord, are the very same ones they have been learning. It’s as if you have taken the blindfolds off our eyes and we can finally see an issue clearly. What a happy learning time it is, Father, when your love and your truth is shared with a friend.
I still laugh as I remember telling my employer that I was praying about a situation so that I would know how to respond. He said, “You want God to give you red letters in the sky?” I answered, “Well, he could do that if he chose to.” I haven’t seen any red letters in the sky yet, Lord, but I certainly know you are able to do that – and so much more!
Sometimes, Father, the gentle comfort you give as I sit quietly in your presence is all the answer I really need. I know, at that particular moment in time, that I am your child, very loved, and that, because of Jesus’ death on the cross, my place is with you, now and forever.