The Way It Is

Black Bible spineI know what I should say . . . or at least what’s expected.  Right now I can’t say those things.  I really wish I could, but it would be a lie.  I’d rather disappoint than lie, and trust me–I hate disappointing people.

The question this week on the Faith Barista’s Jam is “How am I hearing from God?”   I would expect my answer to revolve around reading Scripture and prayer.  It’s not going to.

Normally I end each day with time reading my bible followed by journaling and praying.  I’m used to having God invade my thoughts as I read, think, and write.  Lately, though, it has been a struggle to do any of that consistently.  Last night I decided I needed to do it.  When I pulled out my journal, it was soon evident it had been a month since I’d written.

In the past if I missed more than a day or two, I would feel suffocated.  I’m not terribly good at routine, so this always surprised me a bit.  The past few months have been different.

The interesting thing is that I know I’m not cut off from my heavenly Father.  We still talk.  I still read his Word—just not in big chunks, small nibbles are more like it.   I’m praying regularly, just more piecemeal throughout the day.

One of the major ways I’m hearing God these days is through music.  This surprises me because I’m not really into music.  I own an MP3 player—but it’s basically useless right now. I don’t listen to the radio when I drive.  I don’t sing well, and I haven’t played an instrument in years.  In spite of all this, lately God often speaks to me through music.

When the fog of wakefulness starts to clear each morning, I find a song running through my mind.  This morning, “In Christ Alone” provided the foundation for my day.  Hillsong’s “You Said” has started days when I didn’t think I could keep going in the training we were in the midst of.  “Great is Thy Faithfulness”  has coursed through my mind on another day.  My friend Evan’s songs from Africa have started other days.

Each day, that song was exactly what I needed.   Some days I needed it to get through my morning preparations and out the door.  Other days, I realized I needed that song sometime later in the day; the foundation was cemented that morning.

As for prayer, as truth grips my mind in the form of well crafted songs,  my thoughts are pierced with thoughts of different people and what I know or think their needs are.  I’m learning to stop and pray right there for the people and things God puts on my mind.

It’s not just my waking thoughts that are filled with melody and prayer.  I’m learning to press the pause button throughout the day and pray as people and situations weigh on my heart.

Lately, God invades my waking thoughts with songs of truth.  He speaks his word in musical form.  My ears are attuned.

I look forward to the day when my thoughts focus again on the bible.   I’m sure I’ll get back to using my journal as a regular means of prayer.   I’m looking forward to it, but I’m not worried about when it will arrive.

photo courtesy of Adrian van Leen

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(I’m participating in Faith Barista’s Faith Jam.  Every week she’s asking other bloggers to “jam like musicians” on a faith related topic.  Today’s post is my riff on “How do you hear from God?” If you’re interested in the notes others added to this Faith Jam, go check out her site and follow the links.)

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7 Responses to “The Way It Is”

  1. LanaOctober 28, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    Hey friend,
    You almost had a call from me last night inviting you to come stay with me at a hotel – I was nearly stranded in Denver and must admitt, it was by design that I flew that route in hopes that if i were, i could hug you and love you up close, till next that happens, I shall continue to love you from afar… always!
    Much Love

  2. SherylOctober 28, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    I would’ve loved that, Lana! If only I had known to pray for you to be stranded. Sigh. Next time.

  3. Melissa BrothertonOctober 28, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    I wouldn’t worry too much about not having journaled in a while. Just like in our relationships with others, God doesn’t speak to us the same way all the time. How boring would it be if you only talked to your friend the on email? Communicating through phone calls, texts, presents, cards in the mail, and acts add depth to the relationship.

    The way God is speaking to you right now sounds so comforting. To know that He’s a part of your daily, and not just a meeting at an appointed time, that’s relationship. So glad I popped over from Bonnie’s to check out your post. This encouraged me today. 🙂

  4. HisFireFlyOctober 28, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    How wonderful that you realized that He loves to spend time with us all day long.. and to press the pause button just to wait and listen and worship is to His glory.

    Well said.

  5. Mallory LongOctober 28, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Music has always been the main avenue that God spoke to me, so I always love hearing how other people experience it as well. I am learning slowly the art of “pausing” and praying right then and there. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. SaraOctober 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    I am so awful when in comes to routines, i try but find myself side tracked. I love worship music i hear God in the lyrics, sing my praises to him. I also love spending time in silence or reading or listening to the audio bible, so many ways just to be near our God.

    Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog, hope to see you again xx

  7. Faith Barista BonnieNovember 1, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    “I know I’m not cut off from my heavenly Father. ”

    Sheryl, I love, love, love this post. The title — the content — your heart — the encouraging truth.

    We all too often receive the wrong message of legalism – how many minutes.. how many words… how many pages…

    When God speaks through song and even just one word. God will keep Him in perfect peace whose *mind* is stayed on thee. ~ Isaiah 26:3

    It is where our thoughts and our heart returns and settles — God looks at our heart, our dependence and our trust. That is where His word comes alive. Thank you for writing this to share in the jam.

    This is an important message from God’s heart.. !

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