Abode {W}

Saturday, February 5, 2011

He speaks to me

"We are using xyz curriculum this year," my friend said. "We have prayed about it, and this is what God told us to use." "I prayed about selling our house, and heard God telling me that we should stay where we are for a while longer" another friend said. "We are thinking of moving to Arizona. We really feel God is telling us to move there" said another friend. I could not contribute anything to the conversation, and on the way home that night, I was struck by the realization that God does not speak to me. I had just heard my friends talking about all the ways in which God spoke to them. These were all questions I had had in the last few years, and when I had prayed about them, I heard nothing. In fact, I had never had God speak to me when I prayed for something, never heard him telling me to do anything. When I realized this, it led me to a crisis in my faith. Was I not praying correctly? Did God not care about me? Was I simply unable to hear his voice, my mind too crowded with the jangling thoughts that daily living produce? Have I just been too busy (or apathetic) to slow down and really listen to his voice? These questions plagued me for months, and I entered in to a period of spiritual darkness. If God cared so little about me, then I did not care either. Then, one evening, I talked with the farmer about this. I told him what was bothering me, and how upset I was that God did not tell me what curriculum to use, what diet to try, how to raise my children, and how to handle some tricky relationships. God simply did not speak to me, and it left me feeling cold. My dear husband is exactly what I need. He is the sane voice of reason, the philosopher who helps me look at the circumstances in my life in a calm and objective manner. He listened to my unhappy ramblings, and then pointed out to me that there had been times when God had spoken to me. He listed them for me-the time I was sitting in Mass, pregnant with what would have been our sixth child. I heard God tell me that something would go wrong but that I would be fine. Two days later, that baby died. I was devastated, but God truly consoled me and I WAS fine. The day I received horrible news and needed to know how to respond, how to proceed. God told me "forgive." And, so I forgave, and it WAS the correct way to respond. There are many more examples, but the point is that when I truly needed to hear his voice, I did. All of those other prayers? I was free to decide for myself. God had already made his will known to me- I am to know him, love him, and serve him. It does not matter what curriculum I use, as long as I am being faithful to him. Now! Does this mean that God was not really speaking to my friends, that they were hearing something else? Of course not. God speaks to us in different ways. He finds us where we are, and gives us what we need. Some people may hear him speak every day, and I still think it is important to continually pray and ask for his wisdom. But, if I don't hear his voice every time I pray, if I ask the questions and hear no answer, I can still know that my father loves me and cares for me. I can rest assured that he hears me, and that I can make up my mind and proceed with joy, knowing that when I TRULY NEED him, I will hear his voice.

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