Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Church in South Barrington IL, writes “Without a hint of exaggeration, the ability to discern direction has saved me from a life of sure boredom and self-destruction. God’s well timed words have redirected my path, rescued me from temptation and re-energized me during some of my deepest moments of despair.” In his book The Power of a Whisper (Hybels, 2010), Hybels gives powerful witness and testimony that God continues to speak to His children today.
Since August, I have visited several doctors and had more tests done on my body than any other period in my life. At times, this process has felt quite helpful and hopeful; at other times I have felt exasperated and hopeless. The biggest challenge, medically speaking, has been hearing a diametrically different message from a few select doctors we have seen. These mixed messages have led to consternation and confusion.
In the midst of this confusion and befuddlement, I have found solace in a God who continues to speak to His children. Almost everyday over the last several weeks I have taken a walk along the Belmont Slough in Foster City, CA. The Belmont Slough is a narrow, winding channel of water creating one of many marshlands next to the San Francisco Bay. Along this particular slough is a wonderful trail for walking, running, and bicycling. There are also many benches from which one can watch egrets, ducks, seagulls, and once in a while a lost seal.
Most days, between noon and two in the afternoon, when few others are out, I will take a meditative stroll. Recently I have been stopping and resting on a bench where I simply asked God to “whisper” to me. As I enjoy the sunshine and a gentle breeze, God, in His faithfulness, has given me messages of encouragement. One time I believe I heard God say to me, “I will never leave you. I will never fail you. Take me at my word. I am yours. I will never let you go.” Another time I believe I heard God say to me, “My loving-kindness is for you. You are my son, with whom I am well pleased.” Still a third time I believe I heard God say, “I am your King. I am your Father. Follow me and know my ways. Serve me and be blessed.” Upon hearing these messages (in my spirit), I meditate upon them as I continue walking along the slough. Always, I have felt uplifted, remembered by God, and more fully loved. The angst and worry of doctors’ appointments and mixed messages evaporates as God reminds me of His constant love.
This last week was particularly trying. After meeting on Tuesday with a specialist who seemed at odds with what I have read and what I believe my body is telling me, I felt wholly perplexed and unsure of myself and what to do. Thursday morning I took a long walk along the slough where I again found solace and peace. Though I didn’t feel any specific message in my spirit, God’s goodness and love flooded over me as I enjoyed His wonderful creation. I had the sense that things would work out, that God would give me the wisdom I need, and that ultimately God would bring healing to my body.
As God spoke to His servants Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus (His Son), and so many others, God is faithful to speak to His children today. There are many ways which God continues to speak. May our hearts be open to the message God has for us. God is so good!
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness” (Jeremiah 31: 3).