True friends are hard to come by. Ron and Jackie Hill are those kinds of friends.
While we only go out with them about once a year, it feels as if we have just seen them the week before. We know that if we needed them, all we would have to do is call, and they would drop everything to help.
Once they shared a heartwarming story about their daughter Sarah. Sarah is a behavioral therapist who specializes in working with autistic children. She has a heart for these special kids. At one time she found herself with only 20 hours of work a week. Finances were tough.
Wisely, she began to seek the Lord, and boldly asked Him for more hours. As she prayed, she heard the Lord say, “Volunteer.” She prayed some more. Again she was impressed in her spirit with the simple word “volunteer.” Sarah honestly admitted that she responded out loud with, “Have you lost your mind, God? I don’t have enough gas to even get back and forth to work. How am I going to be able to drive somewhere to volunteer?” And as God so often does, He merely repeated, “Volunteer.” Obediently, albeit a bit reluctantly, she obeyed.
Sarah was attending a very large church, and asked to volunteer as a Sunday school teacher for autistic children. With her credentials, she was welcomed with open arms. Shortly after that, the therapist group she works with let her know that they had a client for her. When she went to meet them she immediately fell in love with the family. As they talked, the parents shared that they needed her help on Sundays. Her heart sank. Sadly, she explained that she could not help them because of her commitment to the church.
They explained that their need was for someone to help them so that they could go to church. When she asked them where they attended, it was the same church where she volunteered. These godly parents wanted someone to take their autistic child to the very Sunday school class that she was helping in. In other words, they were now going to pay her to do what she had volunteered to do at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
God never speaks to us in startling ways, but often in ways that are easy to misunderstand. Elijah desperately needed to hear from the Lord. Standing in a cave on a mountain, “the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind split the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lordwas not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake came, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, a fire came, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire, a still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12, emphasis added). And in the gentle wind, Elijah heard the voice of the Lord.
In each of our lives, the Lord usually speaks to us in a still, small voice. And like the young boy, Samuel, we must learn to respond with “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:9). Nothing comes into our lives without God Himself speaking into the situation. Too often, our spirits are so overwhelmed with the circumstances we find ourselves in, that we forget to say, “Speak, Lord.”
This week in your walk with Christ, when you find yourself not sure which way to turn, practice saying out loud, “Speak, Lord.” As you learn to take this vital step in your deepening relationship with the Father, remember to listen and obey. His answer may not make total sense. But if you ask for His guidance, He promises to answer.
God usually doesn’t shout. Most often, you will sense a gentle blowing. And in that warm wind of your spirit, you will find the voice of God. As you listen, your spiritual ears will grow more and more acute, and like Jesus did, you will learn to hear God’s voice all the time. I promise.