Warm Hearts and Ripe Strawberries

Years ago I once thought about the mystical. I wondered about witches and demons. I wondered about the dark side. I re-read “The Chronicles of Narnia” and I wondered.

Then, at a grocery store, I heard a voice in my mind. It said, “It’s not hard to be a witch. No one needs to know. Witches look like regular people.” The voice paused a bit. “You could be a witch and you could have power.” There was again a pause. “I would give you insight into people. I would help you gain fame and riches.” I began to question the voice in my heart. “See around you? This person could be a witch. That person could be a witch.”

There was a longer pause. I was in a little bit of a shock. Then I heard my Savior’s voice. I heard his warm, comforting, familiar voice. He hadn’t left me. I was not alone. He said, “I was once tempted like that. He came to me and spoke. Do not be afraid. You are mine. I will not let you go.”

How do I hear God’s voice and know it is God? It began years ago. When I was very young I didn’t question that I heard him. I just knew. I hadn’t been trained yet by a cynical world to doubt every thought in my mind. I just assumed that what I’d been told was true. That God is everywhere and he is speaking to everyone. That he lives in our hearts and speaks to us through his creation and his word.

Why? He loves us. He wants to have dialogue with us. He creates beautiful sunrises and sunsets as an open to conversation. He presents us with the awesomeness of the birth of a child. He creates a perfect flower in sand or dirt or in a patch of weeds. He paints the mountains in the distance a myriad of colors. He plans the beauty of the desert years in advance and points us to them. He taught us to smile and laugh. He taught us joy. He brought a miraculous peace in the midst of a storm.

And when I get too busy or rebellious to listen, he joins me in my activities. He points out lessons and pitfalls in TV shows or movies. He sighs along with me during commercials or as I read a book. And he turns me thoughts to him.

He gives me moments of pause. I get “this feeling”. I see what will happen if I continue on a course of action. He shows me an action even so small as tossing a wallet to someone on the couch. (It will spill the milk on the table.) He pleads with me to turn aside. He asks me what do I want? What are the consequences?

I need to obey him more. I need to focus on him instead of the problems more. And I need to love him, trust him and rely on him more.

So when do I hear God? He communicates with everything. He communicates with each person, each sound, and each smell, with each rock or pen. I hear him all the time. It really isn’t all that great or unusual. Especially when I don’t really want to hear him like when I’m busy doing MY thing.

Prayer isn’t just a thing to do; it is a way of life. This way of life is something my parents and grandparents have taught me through their actions. They taught me the value of communication with the people I love. They taught me of the miscommunication when I don’t want to hear.

How do I hear God? He speaks to me continually as he speaks to everyone. He is better than red, ripe strawberries. He is better than a diamond. He speaks to us through his word and his creation. His word stretches across the skies warming hearts to faith.

Psalm 19 The Message

1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening.

3-4 Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded, But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.

4-5 God makes a huge dome for the sun—a superdome! The morning sun’s a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed, The daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape.

6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.

7-9 The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.

10 God’s Word is better than a diamond, better than a diamond set between emeralds. You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring, better than red, ripe strawberries.

11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure. Otherwise how will we find our way? Or know when we play the fool? Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.

These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

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