The rains had come, blocking the blue sky. I love the rain, how it slows down life, to a back-porch-sitting kind of speed. With equal measure, I love the blue skies, especially after the rains have washed them blue – all shades of blue, baby blue, cerulean, cobalt.
Driving home one night, I struggled. Laid it all out there to God – a heart wounded, torn and confused. This transforming from Glory to Glory (2 Cor 3:18), from strength to strength (Psalm 74:7) can be a hard thing. Some days, I’m better at it than others.
Driving up the mountain, to home – I looked up at the back side of the storms moving eastward, still dark, heavy with rain, threatening – not a back-porch-sitting kind of rain.
My son asked me a few days ago, how you know it’s God’s voice. He has some big decisions to make – with sound arguments on both sides of the decisions. A mother’s heart can fill up with pride and break at the same time as our children make decisions, whether it’s the easy-to-shepherd child or the hard-to-shepherd child.
“When you’re looking for an answer, it’s doesn’t come with a Volcano. The earth doesn’t shake to alert you. When He talks to you, it’s in a still, small voice ,” I answered, showing him 1 Kings 19:12). “The more you talk to Him, the more you recognize it.”
Then we talked about wanting to hang out with God, just like you want to hang out with your friends. Learning to hear his voice comes comes with real relationship, not just morning and bed-time prayers. Though I can encourage relationship development with the God who designed him, I cannot force that relationship to exist.
They have to want that relationship, arrange the meeting. Maybe it’s the type of parenting we do today, so involved, so coaching that our children don’t have the opportunity to initiate – from initiating work ethic at home to develop sports skills to initiating a relationship with God. Yes, God pursues. God’s there – but in order for him to work in our lives, in order to hear that still voice, we have to take that first step – “Draw close to me and I will draw close to you,” he says, “(James 4:8).
“I won’t lie to you,” I said. “There are times when I walk, it’s like God’s looped his arm through mine, and we talk – not necessarily about big things. The more you talk to Him, the more it’s like that . . . Go for a walk with Him. . . often.”
I told him about the time I came home and found his older brother between college classes, just lying on the floor. “I’m soaking,” he said, just listening, waiting, drawing close to hear God.
. . . and I did . . . I do . . . have faith that just like the blue sky is right there beyond the clouds, so to is God’s plan assured, though the clouds might try to block it!
Praying that this week, when the clouds threaten our peace and our hearts that we look beyond the clouds to the blue sky – and if we can’t see the blue sky for the greyness of the clouds, that we have faith it’s there, hope in a God who never abandons nor forsakes us, who never drops the thread of the plan, though we might drop it or tangle it all up. Praying that if the only way to go from Glory to Glory is challenge by challenge – that we never stop believing He is there, ready to save us, ready to help us make the easy and hard decision.