During an afternoon lunch date I asked Angela if she hears God’s voice, and if so how does God speak to her and what does He say. I have to add this was after much chatting about ‘what’s new’ – I didn’t just dive into this question. I truly appreciate those friendships where you can talk about a fancy pair of heels, groceries, love, family and God all in one visit. Our lunch date consisted of all these which made for an excellent time.
I have to be honest, when I did ask Angela these few questions there was a long pause. They are not the type of questions you can answer within a few seconds. It’s the “oh my, I really have to think about these.” She was quick to respond that she, like myself, has never heard God’s voice audibly. Then there was the long pause. After a few more bites of my burger and fries I leaned in closer to hear her response. She said that she hears God’s voice when she is compelled to step out of her comfort zone. As someone who becomes anxious in crowds, travelling on public transit is not a preferred form of transportation for Angela. When travelling on public transportation she would rather sit alone but has felt compelled to sit beside certain individuals. She feels that it’s God’s way of asking her to step out of her comfort zone and obey Him. I asked if by sitting next to a certain person if she felt like she was supposed to talk to them or pray for them. She replied with, “No – sometimes I talk to them but sometimes I just feel compelled to sit next to them.” Reflecting on her response, I’m reminded that when God asks us to do something out of our comfort zone it could be something as simple as sitting beside a fellow traveler. It’s God’s way of reminding us that He’s with us and we don’t need to fear.
My conversation with Angela didn’t end with just one story of how God speaks to her but continued telling me of how she felt that God spoke to her about getting into a specific post-secondary school. She explained that it was somewhat of a difficult process applying for the school but she diligently persevered. After much paper work, long and difficult waiting periods and close dead lines, she didn’t get accepted. “All the doors seemed shut and I tried to remain positive because God is faithful and I trust He is in control…I was confused and angry, disappointed for a bit but it was an important experience.” She was sure that she had heard God’s voice tell her that this was the school she was to go to. Otherwise she wouldn’t have gone through the long process of applying for it. However, she didn’t remain upset about not getting in or didn’t questioned if she had heard wrong from God. She reminded me that God speaks to us and it’s up to us to obey His voice. Then she explained that when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Issac, Abraham obeyed God each step of the way. In the end God didn’t want Abraham to go through with the sacrifice. Abraham obeyed God’s voice and God provided Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead of his only son. (Genesis 22).
Angela’s story of God telling her to apply for a specific post-secondary school and going through the long and difficult process only to not be accepted helps me not to question God’s voice. It does leave me with this question though: Why would God ask you to do something when it’s not going to work out in the end? I can think of numerous areas of my life where I thought I was supposed to do something and it would, in turn, have a certain result. I have to learn to listen to God, to go out on a limb and pursue those nudges, all with keeping in mind that the end result may not be what I thought it might be…and that’s alright!
*photos by author