Philippians 4:6-7New International Version (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In the March of 2014, we were at the farm staying with Ed and Becky for our farmhouse was still in the planning stages. Richard and Linda Case were hosting a marriage retreat called Abiding in Him. He’d asked us to write down a particular passage and after praying over it, pick the verse that speaks to you or stands out amongst the others. After choosing your verse, we were to write it out again, along with the corresponding scriptures to that verse, and after repeating these steps three or four times you will see a correlation in all the verses that stood out. I stared at my scriptures all talking about children being safe around serpents, lions sleeping with the lambs, peace in the valley, etc. I was clueless as to what it all had to do with me.
I stared at the fire crackling in Becky’s family room, suffering a mixture of foggy Mommy brain and waning interest. Then, it was my turn to recite the scriptures I’d written in my journal. I read them aloud. Richard leaned back in his chair and thought. For a moment, I felt like that school girl who always had the wrong answer when a teacher called on her, because she was mesmerized by the hair growing out of her chin or the plaid pattern in her skirt. Perhaps, I picked the wrong verses, or these verses made me peculiar in some way. Richard was taking too long with his answer! For the life of all things good and decent say something!
I had to fill the void. “I have no clue how this relates to me. Maybe you wise one can enlighten me.” I laughed.
He cleared his throat. “It seems to me, they all speak of fear. Maybe God wants you to know He’s aware of your fear and He will protect you.” I shuffled in my seat.
Fear!… Fear?…Ah, Fear. Did Richard know about the plastic dagger I wore around my neck, and slipped in my purse on airplanes? Did he know I just passed the test for my concealed weapons permit? Did he know because of my little sister’s death, I was waiting for the death angel to pay me a visit? (This was a big one!) Did Richard know I struggled carrying my newborn because my shoulder was screwed up? How can I defend an attack in a dark parking lot? Will I die before she grows up? Will ISIS attack Orlando? Did Richard know I’d never felt more vulnerable in all my life?
No, but God knew.
One of the comments I hear most from women is I pray, but I don’t know what God’s answers are. I don’t know how to hear Him. I keep waiting for something, but get nothing. This is a big one, the whooper-oo-ski of living a life of faith. How do I know His will if He doesn’t speak it in my ears?
In my previous blog, I gave an example of hearing from God regarding our move to the farm, but I want to make it clear if that was the only message I’d received, we wouldn’t go. There are usually no magical signs falling from the sky into your lap, or at least in my case falling from the internet. With that said, nothing is impossible with God and I don’t want to ever be accused of putting Him in a neat little box. If He wants to shout in your ear, or drop a billboard on your house He has the right and power to do it. He is God!
Throughout the month of March, I would like to unpack the ways God speaks to us, ways you can “hear” from God. It will take a little discipline, training your heart to hear His voice, an awareness outside of self, and a little quiet time, but it will be worth it.
Now, back to fear, I know you’re all curious about that dagger. Admit it! No, I don’t carry it on planes anymore, (crazy woman!). Today, I couldn’t tell you where it is. I’ve moved on.
I strap my revolver to my thigh now.
Next week, meet me on the porch, we’ll start with the most important way, the Bible.