Have you ever felt God was speaking directly to you? Perhaps you don’t hear His audible voice like Samuel did (1 Samuel 3), but you know in your spirit that God is talking directly to you.
Yesterday I felt that way, and sadly I almost missed it…
Each morning before breakfast, I read my Bible. Yesterday I read Ezra 7-8 where Ezra was traveling to Jerusalem, returning from exile. Ezra 8:21-23 says, “And there by the Ahava Canal, I gave orders for all of us to fast and pray and humble ourselves before our God. We prayed that He would give us a safe journey and protect us, our children and our goods as we traveled. For I was too ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king, ‘Our God protects all those who worship Him, but His fierce anger rages against those who abandon Him.’ So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and He heard our prayer.” (emphasis mine).
Then verse 31 says “We broke camp at the Ahava Canal on April 19 and started off to Jerusalem. And the gracious hand of our God protected us and saved us from our enemies and bandits along the way.” (emphasis mine).
My last blog post was about God’s hand being on us – how I longed for that very thing to change my heart and my desires. Five different times in my reading yesterday morning, I saw the “gracious hand of God” being on Ezra (Ezra 7:6, 7:8, 7:28, 8:18, 8:31). It was far too many to be coincidence – I kept underlining them, just completely in awe of God reminding me of what I had read previously about His hand being on us. I was excited!
The day before I read this, my husband had traveled for work (unfortunately, an experience we have all too often). This time, however, the airline lost his luggage. He never checks his small suitcase but rather carries it on with him but this particular airline insisted that he check it and then promptly lost it. His nicest work clothes were in there, along with the brand new razor I had bought him for Christmas, his nice shoes with his custom orthotics for all his foot injuries, and many other personal belongings, including the pillow that he loves to sleep with. It wasn’t like they couldn’t be replaced but it would cost a lot and some of them were just ‘favorites’ that would be difficult to replicate. My heart sank when my husband told me. He had to go under-dressed to a meeting that he was over an hour late for because the flight had been delayed and then his luggage was lost. I prayed and prayed that the airline would find his belongings! I asked other people to pray, too. His phone was dead and not charging, so we chatted only briefly before going to bed and he said the airline found his suitcase in a different state and was supposed to deliver it by 3 am. I was skeptical due to the time but hopeful. Well, when he woke up, no luggage! He had to wait until the mall was open to buy clothes to wear to work, making him late once again.
Before hearing that he didn’t receive his things, I read these passages in Ezra. I thought about how God kept people safe who worship Him. I prayed that God would keep not only my husband safe but also his things, just like in Ezra. I continued to pray. And I’ll admit that I was angry with the airline when I later learned that it hadn’t kept its promise. I was feeling grumpy and distressed that I couldn’t help my man in any way.
My boys & I prayed together. In the car, I turned on my iPhone to listen to music and “randomly” Audrey Assad’s song “You Speak” came on (I put a video of it below with the lyrics). It says that when our hearts are quiet, God speaks to us. I finally listened. As the music played, I really really thought about what I had read. God cares for us! His hand is upon us! How had I missed that my devotions that very same morning were on almost EXACTLY the situation we were going through? How had I missed He was speaking directly to me? The God of the entire universe cared about our situation…WOW!!!
The boys and I continued to listen to worship music and sing along. My heart had changed; my attitude was improving. I wasn’t angry. I was experiencing a new peace. When we got home, Joshua (my oldest) even asked if he could read out of the New Testament Bible he had found. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Well, needless to say, my husband made it home safely from his work trip WITH his luggage this morning. And I learned something in the process – multiple things, but only one will I share now:
GOD IS SPEAKING! His Word is alive! He’s written these pages to us – this is His love letter. If we’ll take the time to press in, there is so much we can learn! I long to know the heart of God, and I believe He wants us to know Him. He promises to reveal Himself to us as we seek Him. If we truly want to know Him more, we need to spend time in His Word. Even doing that, we can sometimes miss it if we’re not focusing, if we’re not digesting, if we’re not thinking about what we read and applying it.
I am absolutely humbled that God would take the time to write to us, to tell us His story of His love for us. Are you listening as God speaks? There’s no time like now to go and see what He is saying to YOU!
Dear Heavenly Father, THANK YOU for Your Word! Thank You that You love us enough to speak directly to us. You are holy, awesome, all powerful, all knowing, and yet You still love us. I am truly humbled. God, we thank You for answering our prayers. Just like You answered the prayers of Ezra when he asked for protection for themselves and the stuff they were carrying, You answered my prayer for my husband’s safety and his suitcase. Thank You that even the little details don’t get by You. Thank You that Your gracious hand is on us! May we not forget! May we not take it lightly! Please help us to remember, to think about what that means, and to praise You for it. Thank You for protecting all those who worship You. May we continue to worship You, the One and only true God. We are grateful! Help everyone who is reading this to have time with You alone, to know You and Your Words. Please speak to them and help them listen. Thank You, God, again for Your hand in our lives. We love You! In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!