I was astonished that July almost swept by without a posting. I have been crazy busy with work and leading a community Bible study that coming here with the words God lays on my heart just haven't happened. Reality, the words haven't been there. The christian walk is like that at times. I like to refer to them as periods of respite. Until the beginning of this month, this year has been a time of respite from ministry for my husband and I. It has been frustrating. God has been silent. There were days I have eagerly sought Him. There were times I have neglected to seek Him as I should. I kept to my memory scripture as they have been my source of comfort.
Not hearing His voice and being able to discern His direction and timing has also been discouraging. I have tried to embrace this respite and instead ready myself for His next assignment. It has involved a lot internal examination and change-a process that is forever on-going!
Last month there seemed to be a change in this respite. The voice of God has again been on my heart...in a whispers...or though a nudge. Last month on Fathers day I took my husband to our favorite Mexican restaurant in downtown Kansas City: Los Corrals. His girls were scattered that day and not able to be with him.
A young couple sat a few tables over from us. They had a little toddler with them. They wore many tattoos. They were dressed in blue jeans and t-shirts...not the typical Sunday clothes like we had on. During our dinner I got that nudge...the whisper..."pay their meal". Our budget was tight. We were there only because we had a $25 coupon. Nervously I asked my husband if the budget would allow us to pick up their lunch bill. "Probably not" was the response I got. We continued on with our meal but the urge became so great that I told my husband that I really felt that we were to pay for their lunch. We did.
The waitress lit up when we asked for their receipt to do this. We instructed her to tell this young man "happy Fathers Day" but to wait until we left. As we walked to our car I was so overwhelmed with joy...His joy. So was my husband. He told me he had the same whisper but his logical thinking pushed it away. He was so thankful I had persisted.
I remember a few years ago around Christmas when I had such a whisper to give a woman in our community $100. I ignored that whisper with my logical thinking-I would be taking from our own Christmas for our family. I didn't heed the nudge. I turned a deaf ear to the whisper. It nagged me for several months. In February following that Christmas I shared this with my husband and we were both humbled as he said he too had experienced the same whisper and ignored it. Our humility in that moment grieved us.
The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. ~ John 10:27 (amplified)Don't you think the Proverbs 31 woman shared these kind of moments? Whispers from God...nudges from the Holy Spirit to reach out in God's name.
She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. ~Prov. 31: 20 (NLT)She is so familiar with God she knows His voice. He is so familiar with her He entrust her with His work. God is not just describing a Proverbs 31 Woman who extend His love through her acts of service only to those who suffer financially but He will ask her to give to those in need spiritually and emotionally.
I want to be like that on a daily basis, don't you? When Jesus was sending out His disciples He instructed them..."What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs (Matt. 10:27 NIV). I am enthralled by the stories people will share when they have acted on God's whispers. I have known no greater joy than to serve others based on God's whispers.
In Bill Hybel's book The Power of A Whisper: Hearing God. Having the Guts to Respond he included a poem a teacher gave him when he was just a child that spurred him on his journey to be able to listen to God. It is written from the passages found in 1 Samuel 3:
Oh! give me Samuel ears,
An open ear, O Lord,
Alive and quick to hear
Each whisper of thy Word;
Like him to answer to thy call
And to obey thee first of all.
This week I encourage you to open your quiet time with our memory/meditation verse above. Make the Samuel Prayer your prayer for this week. Then spend some time in 1 Samuel reviewing his life and putting into practice what you learn from his story.
I will say it again...She is so familiar with God she knows His voice. He is so familiar with her He entrust her with His work. This is the heart and soul of the Proverbs 31 Woman.