Swift to Hear

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalms 37:23 NLT

Today as I left school, I asked God where I should go first. In my mind I was considering the store or Starbucks. One would nourish the body, the other my soul. Yet instead of hearing one of those, I heard “home.” Home didn’t really make sense to me. I was currently going in the opposite direction from home and couldn’t think of a good reason to go there. I had no purpose at home that I could think of, but I knew I needed to get groceries at the very least. It seemed like a waste of gas and of time to turn around. So thinking I must have been hearing wrong (after all, no one is perfect, right?), I proceeded to go in the direction of both the store and Starbucks assuming I would figure it out as I got closer.

Yet no sooner had I gotten on the highway then my phone rang. It was my daughter calling from school in tears because she missed me. Oh how my momma heart melted! I immediately offered to return to school to see her. Yet I also explained it would be a little bit because I had to turn around and drive back to school. Doing so was not the easiest or quickest for me because I am still new enough to the area to not be completely familiar with the best way to turn around. I did, however, eventually make it back and spend a few moments comforting her.

As I left my daughter and headed out again on my errands, I again asked God where to. This time I didn’t hear home, though. I actually felt like Starbucks was a decent choice (Hallelujah!).  This seemed odd to me, however, so I began contemplating what had changed. Why did I no longer feel pulled to go home? Was I right in thinking I must have misheard the initial instructions? Was my desire for caffeine stronger than my willingness to go home? Was I being like Jonah and running away?

It was as I began asking these questions that I heard God speak to me the lesson in all this. I had heard His voice. Home was the direction He had wanted me to go; I had just misunderstood the purpose. If I had turned around to go home when He had asked me to turn around, I would have been even closer to school and would have been to Emma sooner. I would have saved myself that time and that gas I had originally used as an excuse not to go home. If I had turned around when it didn’t make sense, it would  have made total sense when Emma had called. God hadn’t wanted me to go home. He had wanted me to head that way so I’d be close when Emma needed me.

Wow. This really hit home with me (no pun intended). Sure, this incident was not a life-or-death decision. Lives were not forever altered because I was 15 minutes away instead of five. But I did find it quite an important lesson to learn.

Whether our lives are busy and full or more open and laid back, God is always speaking to us if we are willing to listen. He speaks to us in the big things as well as in the small. Even the seemingly insignificant moments are important to God. And if we get in the habit of and train ourselves to listen for God’s voice in the smallest of details, we will also learn to recognize His voice in the big.

So listen for God’s voice today. Listen in the little; listen in the large.  Listen. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21 ESV)

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