How does God speak to people?
If you’d asked me this question a few months ago, I would have replied quickly, straightforwardly, assuredly, giving you the obvious answers you should have known.
Burning bushes. Stone tablets. Tongues of flame. The occasional Morgan Freeman voice from the heavens.
And I would have been convinced I was right.
Bear in mind, if you’d gone on to ask me if God had ever spoken to me personally—especially through one of those means—I’d have scoffed, shrugged uncomfortably, and said, “Well, no,” and our conversation would have ended there.
But I’m learning that God doesn’t always resort to such theatrics. I’m also learning that I’m prone to hyperbole and have a flair for the dramatic, but that’s neither here nor there.
I’m learning that God often speaks to us in whispers. Whispers and nudges. That’s why it’s so important to listen to Him. Not just listen to Him, but to be listening for Him at all times.
For the first time in my life, I’m understanding that.
I’ve been ruminating over verses about waiting for God. I’ve been praying for guidance from above. I’ve been asking—okay, begging—God to help me see where He wants me. And I’ve been anticipating a response in the form of an earthquake, an angel appearing to me in a dream, or a skywriter spelling out a note addressed to me and signed Your friend, Alpha and Omega.
And you know what? That’s not how He’s spoken to me at all.
He’s spoken to me in a series of seemingly small events that have all drawn me closer to Him and further from what keeps me from Him. He’s spoken to me in the form of online community collaborations, heart-to-hearts over drinks with old friends, and conversations with grocery store clerks. He’s whispered to me through the words of people I trust the most and who want what’s best for me. He’s nudged me away from the negativity I’ve gotten used to dealing with and the battles I’ve come to expect by showing me that I can walk away from them and toward Him.
He’s quieted all my anxiety and what-ifs with the peacefulness that surpasses all understanding.
I get it now. I don’t have it all figured out by any stretch of the imagination, but I get it. When people tell you to listen to God, they don’t mean literally wait for Him to shout down from the heavens. They mean pay attention to the way He moves in your life.
Burning bushes? Maybe not. But the effect is still the same. And I promise He’s speaking. All we have to do is listen.