Hearing God’s Voice
The art of hearing God’s voice is one that can be cultivated. I highly recommend it. When you practice hearing God’s voice, it makes knowing what to do in any given situation easier.
A Relationship Blows Up
We all have disagreements one time or another. No one is exempt it seems. In a previous post, I talked about the fruit of the Spirit. At no time is this put to the test more than when there has been a major disagreement between two parties. I am no exception. It came to pass that when I went to visit a woman with my very young family in tow, the circumstances were ripe for an outburst.
I arrived very much later than I had intended and their dad who had arrived much earlier was unwilling to help with the three babies who were cold, wet and extremely tired.
The woman stepped in to fill in the gap and began to unwrap and change babies beside me. I was annoyed with their father who would not get out of his warm bed to lend a hand and it was apparent that things were not set up in a way that the babies would feel safe and cozy. The playpens were in the laundry room with the freezer across the hall from the guest room. I had not planned well. I made a remark of complaint loud enough for their father to hear.
Immediately the woman dropped the child in her hands into the playpen, deeply offended and stormed up the stairs declaring, “Well you don’t have to take it on me!”
I was chagrinned. I could not take back the foolish words out of my mouth and I could not get my attitude under control. In time, the children were put to bed and the three-year-old fell right to sleep, but the twins who were just eighteen months old cried and cried. They were in a strange place, cold, and scared. Their cries were heard upstairs because they were right below the lady’s room. I finally went and got them and brought them to bed with me and my husband. At last they fell asleep and I began to dose. Their dad picked them up off me and took them to their playpens in the next room. They awoke and cried and cried again.
I could not allow them to cry indefinitely. I brought them back to our bed, and they fell asleep. Once again, their dad woke them and returned them to their beds. The cycle repeated itself several times. The last time I brought them to bed must have been around 4am. At that point I threatened my husband with murder if he touched them one more time. I reminded him that there was a couch he could sleep on.
All the while, I knew that I owed this woman a sincere apology. I also knew that she was not sleeping either and there was nothing I could do to make things better. I thought and thought about how I was going to fix the problem I had created by complaining to someone who was not responsible for my attitude.
In the morning after perhaps four hours of dosing off and on and no real restful sleep, I made an attempt to ask for forgiveness. It did not turn out well since she had no more sleep than I. My response to her tirade was to pack up my babies and take them and myself two hours down the road and visit my mother.
My mom was sympathetic and wise, redirecting my attention to the Lord gently but persistently. She suggested I pray and try again to apologize when I wasn’t so tired. In due season, I did.
Unfortunately, the response was not a positive one. It looked to me like she may have been angry with me for a long time and that there had been an accumulation of issues that I was not aware of. The late-night incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. I was hurt and did not know what else to do.
God Grows More Fruit in Me
I asked God to grow more fruit in me. I prayed blessings on her. I asked for brilliant ideas. My husband and her husband tried to talk to us. I was not willing to try again unless I had some idea how to approach her that would solicit a positive response. I waited. Time passed. I found myself growing patience, kindness and love toward her as I prayed. Yet I did not know what to say to her.
About two years went by. I’d heard through the grape vine that she had remained angry and unforgiving. I waited some more.
When the Time is Right, God Speaks
One day in the middle of the week, while I was making up the beds, I heard a clear voice say, “Call her.” Sometimes when you hear God’s voice you don’t have to ask questions. You just know what He means.
I argued with Him, “You know she’s just going to yell at me again.”
“Ok, I’ll call her, but you know she doesn’t even answer the phone when my husband calls her to chat. She has call display so she doesn’t have to talk to me. If you want me to call her, she has to answer the phone because if her husband answers, I’ll just say hi to him and I won’t be asking for her.” Funny how we can argue with our heavenly Father like that. I was scared to hear her wrath like the last two times she had communicated with me.
So I called her. She answered the phone. We had a tearful reunion that remained until she passed away twenty years later. I’d grown some fruit in those two years. Reconciliation can happen with good fruit growing in our lives.
Learn to Hear God’s Voice
May I suggest that you learn how to hear God’s voice. One way to start is to read through the Bible bit by bit asking God to explain passages that you don’t quite understand or simply talking it over with Him. Write down what you think He is saying to you and check it out with someone who has more experience with it than you. Those who seek Him will find Him and hear Him. With practice you will get to know how He communicates with you on a personal level.