Chasing the Son
Editor’s Note: In a nod to our Presbyterian heritage, we regularly feature a column from a PMMA® chaplain in our newsletter. This month’s column comes from Dave Parker, chaplain at Salina Presbyterian Manor®.
Chasing The Son
By Dave Parker, Chaplain
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).
A few years ago, I was caught in a spiritual dilemma that was tearing me apart. I had been dwelling on the issue constantly for days, praying over it, seeking God’s wisdom and His guidance. One morning as I was driving from Topeka to my work in Manhattan, a solid hourlong drive, I turned to God once again.
This time I was literally crying out to Him. And when I say crying, I mean crying: tears streaming down my face, waving my arms (one at a time of course), and talking out loud to Him. I’m sure people passing me on the highway thought I was nuts. At one point I shouted between my tears, “God, what do you want me to do?” Just as audibly and clearly as those words came out of my mouth, I heard “TRUST ME” come from somewhere within my car.
I was stunned. Who in the world was in that car with me? The words were calm and reassuring, yet so vivid I had to turn around to check my back seat. Nobody there. But I didn’t believe my eyes, so I checked again. Still nobody. It was in that moment a sense of absolute peace and calm washed over me. My stress was gone completely. My anxiety was removed.
What I had heard was God’s voice. Hard to fathom, but what a blessing! While I may still think about the issue that had been clouding me, it is no longer a roadblock to God’s plan for my life. What an awesome spiritual marker to tell me that after so many years I was at last seeking and following God’s plan for my life.
Sometimes it’s hard to discern God’s will, isn’t it? In fact, I would say most of the time it’s difficult to grasp what He’s saying, which direction HE wants us to go. And far too often, rather than demonstrate His gift of patience, we lunge forward towards our own plans. That’s how life can become derailed. It’s so important to be diligent in prayer. You can’t just say, “OK God, what’s next?” and expect an immediate answer. God simply doesn’t work that way.
Turn to Him in complete humility. Seek His face. Pray earnestly and constantly. Then listen for His still small voice. It’s rare that He speaks to us audibly, but He knows how to reach each of us personally. He will respond to your prayers in His time in His way, so that only you can discern what He’s saying. If you’re struggling to hear Him, find a quiet place for just for the two of you. Slow down.
It’s so important that we give God priority; Jesus always did. Turn to Him humbly, remain diligent in prayer, and listen. Allow Him to respond in His time, in His way. Then follow. It may not be the response or the path you were expecting, but when you hear Him, you will know, and you will be able to fully trust His will and His way for your life. The more you seek Him; the more you will hear Him speak to you personally; and the easier it will become to discern His voice and His will for your life.
Listen for God’s still small voice saying, “Trust Me!”