Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Voice

The anxiety washed over me as I looked at the clock. I had an appointment to meet with my minister, but my panic at leaving my house overwhelmed me.

I grabbed the phone and dialed the number. Pastor Jamie had reassured me that he could counsel me via the phone if my mild agoraphobia blocked my way. I felt so angry at myself. All I had to do is drive to town. What’s the big deal? By now, my trembling hands dropped the phone. I wiped away the sweat as I heard the church secretary answer the phone.

“Hi, Sandy, it’s Shann. I was supposed to meet Jamie, but it’s too snowy out.” I squeezed my eyes shut, blocking my view of the tiny bit of snow outside my window.

I choked back the tears when I heard Sandy’s words. “Oh, Jamie isn't even here.”

 A voice mocked me. “See you’re not important. He didn't even remember the appointment.”

Trying to muffle my sobs with fake laughter, I answered, “That’s okay.”

Just as I started to hang up, Sandy called out. “Shann, wait, he just walked in. Do you want to talk to him?”

“No, I don't want to bother him. Thanks.” I tossed the phone down and collapsed. The voice in my head continued to taunt me. I grabbed my Bible. “Please, God, make him call back. If you really care about me, then make him call me back.”

Sobs wracked my body. Thoughts of hurting myself echoed in my mind. Looking up, I screeched, “Please God, make him call me! If he doesn't call by 11:00, it proves that no one cares and I should just die!”

This time I heard a different voice. Goosebumps popped out on my arms. “No. You call him.”  I tried to shake the words away as I carelessly flipped open my Bible.

Again I heard it. This time I noticed my right hand moved towards the phone as I heard the command, “No. You call him.”
I blinked my eyes and grabbed my right hand and held it down with my left. “No, if he really cares, then he'll call me.” 
Each time I heard God speak, my right hand would reach for the phone, but my left hand would hold it back. Swallowing my tears and my pride I picked up the phone and called the number.

This time Jamie answered immediately. “Oh Shann, I was so worried. As soon as Sandy told me you didn't want to talk, I knew something was wrong. I wanted to call you right away, but each time I reached for the phone, someone would come into the office. I decided I’d fill out this paperwork and call you in about three minutes.”

I looked at the clock and realized in three minutes, my self-imposed deadline proving that someone cared would have been one minute too late. I told him the story of the voice and my left hand holding down my right hand, preventing it from reaching the phone. Jamie knows me well and realized that I had decided no one cared as I told him my story.

I couldn't believe I heard him laughing on the other end of the phone. “Shann, do you have any doubt that you were hearing God's voice?”

“No, I’m sure it was his voice.”

Again Jamie chuckled. “You know I care about you, right?”

“Yeah, but I'm sure you have more important things to do. I don't want to waste your time.”

“Don't you get it? You demanded God show you proof that you are loved and he did. God is much busier than I am, yet he took the time to come and speak to you directly. Not only that, but every time I tried to call you, he threw an obstacle in my path. He wanted to tell you personally that you matter to him. He loves you enough that He spoke to you directly and even made your hand move. What more proof do you need?”

When we finished talking, I glanced down at my open Bible, “I will turn you around and drag you along…” (Ezekiel 39:2) I had proof that not only did God speak to me, but he cared enough to move my arm.  I'm still overwhelmed by the way God shows that he loves me. He proved it by taking time out of his busy day to tell me so.

Want to help promote the reading of God's Word and encourage people to learn how to hear God's voice? Imagine a color coded study Bible and multi-media application highlighting when God speaks to you. Operation Light Force (OLF) is a ministry devoted to equipping people to do what Jesus did, setting captives free, healing and preaching. Richard Mull is the President and Founder of OLF and the General Editor of the God Speaks Bible and many other books and was featured on TV and media. Help us spread the word.

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