The moon ushered me home the other night. I was driving back late, alone in my car, and I had prayed for God to speak. I wanted so much to hear him. I was practically straining to hear him. And no audible words came, until I remembered this verse from the lengthy and beautiful psalm: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Ps. 119.105) Was it really that simple? The message God had for me on the way home? Admittedly, I wanted it to be more than this…more than one verse. I was taking time out for God. I wanted a revelation.
Instead, that pesky moon followed me all the way to my front door–always at my left, just out my window. Isn’t it something that the world is even created this way, that the moon can even do that? On that last stretch of road home, my iTunes radio on random shuffle, a song came through the speakers. The words “Singing, you are holy, great and mighty. The moon and stars declare who you are. I’m so unworthy, but still you love me. Forever my heart will sing of how great you are,” poured right over me.
“The moon and the stars declare who you are.” Was God actually showing me more of his character and I hadn’t even noticed? Was he answering my prayer, just not in the way I’d expected?
Sometimes listening for God feels so hard. I want to be used and be moved, and often, I just really want an answer–not weeks or months later, but RIGHT NOW.
It’s so normal. And so many things in life feel instant these days. We have programmed ourselves to expect results immediately. At the risk of coining a new phrase, I think I’ll call it “Google Syndrome.” When we want the answer to something, it’s pretty much at our fingertips. Henry asks me a question and I find myself saying, “I’m not sure, buddy. Hang on. I’ll just google it.”
The concrete, factual things in life have instant answers in this plugged in, turned up age. But the hard things? The emotional and spiritual ones? So far, I can’t seem to google those. Can I just say, I think it would be devastating if I could.
Plugged in. Turned up. These seem to oppose the space I need to create for myself if I want to really connect with God. Remember last week when I talked about my journey of learning to listen intentionally, but not mastering it perfectly?
In order to make space for God to move in my life and in my heart, I must be intentional about carving out separated space and quieter time.
Not rushing around time, not falling asleep at the end of the day time (although I do this, too), but real, full, focused time. When I do make God a priority in my days, he moves. And over time, this dance we’ve done: God waiting for me and me slowly learning just how much I crave and need him, has moved me to love and trust him and crave him even more.
Like anything else we train for, listening for God is an exercise for me. It isn’t a random marathon dropped into the middle of my week, but instead, countless moments, hours, months, years of practice runs that have stretched my faith and built muscles that I depend on for strength when the race days do come.
I am very much in a season of listening and waiting on God these days. It is hard, certainly, but there is a sweetness about it that I don’t taste when I’m not so committed to perking my ears. I come to him desperately, openly, full of curiosity, hope, stress, challenge, joy. In my efforts to listen, I trust that God sees I am willing. And as I keep coming back for more, he entrusts relationships and stories and prayers and journeys to me that I know I would otherwise miss. He allows me to do life alongside people around me in a different way.
Please hear me when I say that I have so little figured out. But this fullness of God that is pressing into me is something I’ve missed before and that I really don’t want to miss again. Clearly, I’m human and stubborn, still placing my own ideas in the way of what God might have for me sometimes. Like so many other things, I have to talk to God about helping me through my stubbornness, too.
I had something to learn from the moon the other night, and I could have missed it. It’s completely ok for me to wait expectantly on God. And it’s completely ok that his response to me would be to rest in him and reflect on him in worship and nothing else. Maybe it’s better than ok.
In a Google Syndromed world, it’s hard for me not to want answers in an instant. But God doesn’t operate on instant, worldly time. He operates on a time all his own. And if I truly trust him with my life…the one he so lovingly gave me…then I will learn to trust his timing, too.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts,” [he declares.] “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace…” Is 55.9-12
As we journey together in life and faith, I pray that we will be able to carve out sacred time and space for God to speak to us. Sometimes in a whisper, sometimes in a way we never expected, but always for his glory and for us to be drawn closer and closer to him.
grace and peace,