August 22, 2008
"A word was secretly brought to me, my ears caught a whisper of it.” Job 4:12 (NIV)
If only I had called her.
If only I had listened to that little voice in my head that nudged me to call her several times over the past few months. Although we were casual acquaintances whose paths did not cross very often, I still considered her a friend and a dear sister in Christ. She had been fighting cancer for years, but had recently been in remission and in good health. More than a year had passed since we had spoken, but we would still smile and wave at each other at church.
For several weeks recently, this friend kept coming to mind. I had felt God laying her on my heart, and I kept intending to call her, but would get busy and forget. Then I arrived at church one Sunday morning, only to read the shocking news that she had passed away. I was stunned. I had seen her fairly recently, buzzing around the sanctuary, and she looked great, but now she was gone. Now it was too late to call her. The door of opportunity to hear her kind voice had slammed shut.
If only I had listened to that inner voice of the Holy Spirit prompting me to pick up the phone to call and check on her. I was unaware that she was sick again, but God knew.
If only I had stopped whatever I was doing, and taken just a few minutes to let her know I was thinking of her. I was unaware of her need to be remembered, but God knew.
If only I had called her, and let her know how her unshakable joy had impacted my walk with God. I was unaware of her need for encouragement, but God knew.
Tears filled my eyes as I considered not only the loss of this sweet, precious woman, but my own remorse for not listening to God’s whispers to my heart. God’s ways are not our ways, as we are told in Isaiah 55:8, and I have learned through this experience to always listen to the quietest of voices, and recognize that this voice is holy.
I now understand that when I suddenly feel the need to call someone whom I haven’t thought of, spoken to, or seen in months or even years, that it may be God Himself whispering to my heart. When I have an urge to tell someone I love them, even though I am sure they already know it, God is whispering to my heart. When I find myself dropping by to visit someone in the hospital that I don’t know well or possibly do not them at all, God is whispering to my heart.
God knows what His children need, and He uses each of us to meet those needs. Just because we don’t have all the answers yet, or do not know why God is prompting us to do a certain thing, doesn’t mean we should ignore the whisper. His ways are not our ways... but His way is the best way... and the necessary way.
When I learned of my friend's passing, I made a commitment to myself and to God that I will never again ignore even the tiniest, quietest whisper from the Holy Spirit. I will pray for discernment and whether He tells me to make a big sacrifice, or simply make a phone call, my hope is that I will step out in faith and obey, without delay.
If God has been whispering to you about someone or something, listen to those whispers. Don't discount them. Pray for discernment and be willing to take action, even if you don't fully understand the reason yet. Unfortunately, the consequence of not listening to those whispers, could result in you having to say, "If only …" just like me.
Have you heard His whisper?
Dear Lord, forgive me for not listening to Your voice. Help me to recognize your activity in my heart, and act promptly on the commands you speak to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer
For more encouragement about this topic, visit Tracie Miles’ blog
Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles
If you have heard a whisper to your spirit lately, did you consider that it could be God speaking?
Has God whispered the name of someone for you to call today?
Has He prompted you to be obedient in a small way, or even a big way, that you have yet to act on?
Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. (NIV)
© 2008 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105