"God waits for you. He has so much to tell you. No one loves you like God loves you. But most of all, when you hear the living, loving God talk to you, you will never be the same."
-Becky Tirabassi, Let God Talk to You
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you."
I finished Let God Talk to You this past week as part of my devotions. The leader of the local moms' group I go to recommended it and let me borrow it out of the church library. It's a really great book that contains the author's testimony of how God began to speak to her in her everyday life, as well as practical tips on hearing God's voice. One of the methods she suggested was to write out your own dialogue with God: what you want to say to Him and then what you feel He is saying in response. I had not been in a place where I had been hearing God's voice regularly, so I decided to take up this method in my prayer journal. I have not been disappointed. To be brutally honest, I was a little scared to start listening to God again, but He has been so faithful and gentle to me in the midst of my fears and sins that I find myself drawn to spending more time with Him. I want to share a testimony with you of how hearing His voice ministered to me last week in a very real sense.
Last Thursday evening, I was driving my daughter and I to the biweekly Bible study we attend at a friends' house. My husband could not attend because he had to work that night. I had to drive on the highway to get to this friends house. As some of you know, I am not the best highway driver. I still get super nervous when I have to drive somewhere alone on the highway, no matter what the distance. Thankfully I have not had a panic attack while driving in a while, but the fear always looms in the back of my mind. To combat it, I usually turn on a worship CD and sing as loudly as I can. It really helps.
On this particular occasion, I ran into a nasty thunderstorm. Lightning, heavy rain, hail...you name it. I had to pull over on the highway because I couldn't see. I was getting really scared, so I called Hubs and he stayed on speakerphone with me as I drove the rest of the way to the house. I was so thankful to get there safely and without a panic attack. I hoped that the weather would be OK on the way home since it would be dark by the time I had to leave. Unfortunately, I heard thunder rumbling in the distance and saw many flashes of lightning as I walked out to the car with my daughter to make the journey home. I called my husband to see if he could talk me through the ride, but he was busy with work, so I was on my own. Or so I thought.
I got on the highway and prayed and pleaded and begged with God to hold off the rain until I got home. It was then that I remembered what I had felt Him saying to me that morning in my quiet time. It was about a totally different issue I was struggling to trust Him with, but it really hit home in my current circumstance as well. Here is what I recorded in my journal that morning-what I felt God speaking to me:
"I love you. I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, they will not rush over you. I will care for you and those you love."
See how much that reflects the above Scripture in Isaiah? I can't tell you how hard I held onto those thoughts as I white knuckled the steering wheel all the way home. It only sprinkled the rest of the twenty minute drive, and I felt a sense of peace and trust in the Lord that I had not experienced in a while. I breathed many prayers of thanks when I pulled into the driveway that night!
Isn't it great that God speaks to us when we are willing to listen? I am so grateful He has begun to draw me closer to Him through Becky Tirabassi's book and His Word. I am learning I can trust Him more and more, even in the midst of the literal and figurative storms in my life.