|Someday I will be good at photo-editing. Someday.|
This past December, I went to see Magi, a Christmas production put on by Word of Life Bible Institute. The performance was stellar—neat lighting, fantastic singing and acting, compelling message—and I'm so glad I was able to see it.
But as cool as the play/musical was, that's not what this post is about. It's really about listening and obeying God, and about recognizing that God speaks in a multitude of ways.
Even if you don't believe in God, I'd ask you to hang around (though that's your call to make) because you and I can learn a lot in the most unexpected of places (and from the least likely of people).
I believe and assert that Jesus existed in the flesh on this earth, and that He also exists as more than a mere historical figure. I also believe that He loves YOU. He wants you to feel comfortable enough to just be with Him—to talk with Him as a friend.
I understand it's unreasonable for me to expect you to immediately jump on board...and I'm not asking you to (but I won't deny that would be awesome). All I'm asking is that you to allow me to share this story—this one experience of many—with you in the hope you might, perhaps, see things a little differently.
So. God speaks.
Here's my story about what happened that night:
After the play was over, we had a time of prayer. During this time, the main speaker of the 'function' invited audience members to come to him/any of the individuals who put on the production if they wanted to speak about anything—wanting to know more about Jesus, about prayer, about what being a Christian means, etc.
And suddenly, I heard "Go speak with him" and was nudged toward the first young man standing in the aisle to my left. I immediately thought it was from God, but I wasn't completely sure.
I wasn't sure if I heard what I did because I wanted to, if that makes sense; it'd be a good thing to go and encourage/congratulate someone, so why not? I reasoned that it could have been a thought spurred on by the invitation. In other words, I wasn't sure if I was actually hearing God, or *wanting* to hear God.
Odd thing was, I didn't feel nudged to speak with anyone else—just that one guy.
So I asked God in my mind (amid my other questions...namely, 'Was that You?'), “THAT guy?” And again, more insistent this time, I heard Him again...specifically instructing me to speak with, yes, *that guy*.
Ok, not just me. I needed to go talk to him!
Then my newfound certainty started to get weighed down with a healthy dose of panic because I like people...but I'm introverted, and I'm not exactly fantastic at starting conversations with people I don't know. Ok, I'm not always stellar at starting conversations with people I do know. So I hesitated, asking God in a shrill voice (I'm a writer, remember? ha) “What am I supposed to say?!”
"Ask him where he is,” God replied, bringing up the brilliant point that if I want to be a missionary, I need to learn how to go out and speak to people. Ouch....
“O-ok.” My mind was still raging because I had no idea what I was doing, why I was supposed to ask him that, and what. if. I. failed?! (And yes, I am that melodramatic. Maybe that's why I'm so tired all the time. Hmm...)
But I knew this was what God wanted me to do. In response to my hesitation, God said, “Just go talk to him!”
|To the man! Sokka style.|
After a bit of an awkward start—I congratulated him on the performance, then continued to linger until the man giving him tuning advice left—I explained that God wanted me to talk with him...even though I had no idea why. I didn't even ask for his name until the end of our conversation! (It was Reggie.)
He laughed and I asked him where he was (in life), and he told me he was finishing his year at the Bible Institute. After explaining the program and sharing his love for it (btw, BI sounds incredible!!), I shared my background as Toccoa Falls College as a Missions major. I somewhat jokingly promoted missions because missions is fantastic :D and admitted I wanted to go to Japan someday as a missionary.
Reggie seemed surprised. A few moments later he asked, his tone a mixture of curiosity and slight desperation, “How did you know you wanted to be a missionary?”
Whoa, I thought, this must've been why God wanted me to talk to him.
So I expressed the journey God took me on since I was a sophomore in high school when I first became a Christian, and Reggie confessed that he was uncertain of where God wanted him to go next--either to leave the BI and go into the field as a missionary, or to...*ahem* well, I forgot what the other option was. I actually wrote this post out in December, and then the draft didn't save T_T >_<! I was so upset and busy I put it off til now. Sorry!
Point is, God knew exactly what Reggie was going through. You remember that God had told me to ask "where he is" (in life implied)? I didn't understand why I was supposed to ask that until Reggie explained his situation to me. He was at a metaphorical fork in the road, and I was sent to help him in his decision-making process.
I completely understood where he was coming from; I've struggled with uncertainty a lot. But God, knowing Reggie just as deeply as He knows me, knew he'd need lots of confirmation and assurance. Reggie thanked me for talking to him and relayed how a lot of people had been bringing up missions around him lately. (Do you see the motif of assurance here?! lol)
My speaking to him wasn't coincidental.
God knows you, knows what you're going through, and will meet you where you are. All you have to do is ask, and be willing to listen...because God speaks.