A recurrent theme in our family lately has been, “How do we hear God’s voice when He speaks? Or, what does God’s voice sound like?” While we consistently tell our kids that one of the best ways to hear God’s voice is to read His Word because that is His love letter to us, it is also important that our children understand that being a Christian is all about being in a PERSONAL relationship with the Creator. That means that, if we will have “ears to hear” Him, He will speak to us individually in intimate, personal ways. I had such an experience yesterday.
I went for my morning run. As I was walking to warm up, I thought about which route I wanted to run, country route to be alone or street route among the neighbors. I chose country route because I was stressed, grumpy and just wanted to get away. About .75 miles into my run, the thought occurred to me that I was running one of my neighborhood routes backwards and I could change my mind and go through a neighborhood. I had a feeling that the thought was placed there by God, but I had no idea why. I told God that if He wanted me to go that way for some reason, I would but He needed to confirm that this thought was His rather than mine, because I really just wanted to go the country route. The thoughts kept coming that I could go the neighborhood route, but I had no confirmation that it wasn’t anything more than just my thoughts. So, at the decision point where I had to go right (to the country) or left (through the neighborhood), I went right.
At that moment, the thought occurred to me that if God had actually wanted me to go through the neighborhood for some reason, I would now never know why. That thought caused me to turn around and go the neighborhood route. (OK, God. Something better happen to make this worth it, because I really wanted to go the other route.)
I passed two men in a garage changing out a water heater. (Is this why I came this way?) They didn’t even look my direction. (Apparently, not). I kept running.
(I could keep going straight here instead of turning left on my normal route and cut my run short. But then I might miss whatever it is God has in store for me, if anything.) I turned left.
About 1.5 miles into my run, I looked ahead and saw a white car blocking the sidewalk in front of me. I could tell that it had 2 hearts on the door and wondered if the logo was for a dating service or something. As I approached, I was able to read the print. Whoever drove the car worked for Hospice. I have a special place in my heart for Hospice because my daddy had a very special Hospice nurse when he passed away from cancer 23 years ago.
As I got a few steps away from the car, I felt as if God were telling me to stop and pray. (This is it. This is why He brought me this way.) So I stopped running, paused my running app, placed my hand on the back of the car, and prayed. Not knowing whether the person who drove the car lived in the house or was there to aid someone ill in the house, I didn’t know exactly how to pray. I asked God to be with the person who drove the car, to help them to have an effective ministry and to be able to bring peace to those in the greatest need of their lives. (Amen.)
I looked around and saw no one. I looked down to my armband preparing to restart my running app and be on my way. I felt another nudge. (No, God. Please.) I felt the nudge to go knock on the front door of the house. (God, if this is really You asking me to do this, I’ll do it. But how do I know it’s You and not just me over-thinking this? Show me a sign.) No sign, but still the nudge to act. (God, if this is not You, it will be so embarrassing. Not to mention that if someone is in there with their loved one lying on their deathbed, they don’t want to talk to me, if it’s not You speaking to me!) No sign, but still the nudge to act. (God, I want to be obedient to You. If You want me to speak to them, confirm to me somehow that this is really coming from You. Let them open the door or something.)
AT THAT EXACT MOMENT, the garage door began to raise. (OK, God. I get it. Thank you.) I saw a pair of legs getting into the van. The door continued to raise. The van began to back out. Then, I assume they saw me standing behind them just waiting, they stopped suddenly. I continued to stand there and lifted my sunglasses from my eyes onto my head so they could see me as I spoke to them. I was nervous, but convinced at this point that I was doing what God wanted me to do, even if I didn’t know why. They, realizing that I wasn’t going anywhere, continued to back out and began rolling down their driver’s side window. The van stopped in front of me and I looked into the concerned face of a man.
“Hi,” I said to him. “I was on my morning run and this car here and felt the urge to stop and pray for the person who drives it. I don’t know if someone who lives here drives it or if someone who lives here is in need of the services provided by them, but I prayed for both.” The concern melted away from his face and he plunged his hand through the window to shake mine.
“My name is Brian,” he said. “I drive that car. I work for them.” Pointing to the passenger’s seat, he said, “This is my son, Evan.”
“Hello, Evan. My name is Jodi. I live in the neighborhood. My dad died of cancer a long time ago and Hospice helped us greatly. I really am thankful for that ministry. So, thank you Brian, for doing what you do.”
“You’re welcome!” he said. “Have a good day.”
“You, too! God bless!” I said, as I ran off, restarting my running app. Within a couple of steps, as Brian drove away, I began to weep uncontrollably. (Thank You! Thank You! Thank You, God! I don’t know why You wanted that exchange to take place today, but I am convinced that You did! Thank You for using me! Thank You for speaking to me! Just, thank You!)
When I got home, I was able to share this experience with my family. I don’t know how, if at all, this experience impacted Brian, but I know it impacted me. It was another fingerprint of God in my life. It is another example to my children of who God is, how much He cares about us and how He speaks to us, because HE DOES STILL SPEAK!