Listen, He speaks.

It’s almost 9:00 p.m. The roar from a train downtown fills the air, as cicadas buzz and crickets chirp. There’s a sultry southern ambience to the evening that I’ve come to appreciate. I look forward to the peaceful closing of the day. Settled in the back porch swing, I’m reflecting on the busy day of calls, deadlines, and commitments. During the bustle, I tried to slow my pace to sense God’s presence. Like Brother Lawrence, I want to practice living in my heavenly Father’s presence. Not only is this my goal, but God also wants this too.

How often do we rush through life chasing fancies that never satisfy, forfeiting the chance to tune our hearts to heaven’s pleasure? Throughout the Scripture, God pursues communion with humanity. From the cool of the Garden of Eden to the current moment, God reaches out to have a relationship with us. However, although God’s voice can thunder, He all too often is soft-spoken. You must quieten your soul to hear the still small voice. Who knows, you may hear him in the passing of a train or calls of insects, but He’s there waiting, speaking. Listen.

Angst for Nothing

I silenced my alarm and crawled back into bed. My heartbeat echoed in my head. I didn’t want to wake up, but I needed to. I planned, the night before, to get many tasks finished. My agenda was full. I wondered if all my prioritizing and planning were in vain because I wasn’t sure if I could function. There was still work to be done.

I silenced my alarm and crawled back into bed. My heartbeat echoed in my head.

Throwing the covers back, I eased my feet to the bedroom floor and made my way to the coffeepot. Coffee would help. After sipping the smoothness of Folger’s Black Silk, my mind was still clouded, and a bit confused. My spirit was restless. What was happening? Why did I feel so blah? I assumed bacon would help, but it didn’t. It would be a long day.

As I opened my Psalms in 30 Days prayerbook, I didn’t want to pray. I fumbled through its pages, finding the passages for the day, and forced myself to pray. My spirit felt like saltine crackers, dry and bland. I questioned continuing, but I felt a need to keep pressing. I finished my morning devotional routine, and I didn’t feel any change in my soul. It would be a long day.

My spirit felt like saltine crackers, dry and bland.

Still feeling overwhelmed, I stopped and took a deep, cleansing breath. I jotted down some notes in my journal. Then it hit me. God, you are present. Despite all my angst, God is always present. I took another cleansing breath and stopped all attempts at my doing and settled into being, being in God’s presence. God, I’m here, and you’re here with me.

Then it hit me. God, you are present.

Immediately, Paul’s words to a young pastor entered my mind, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself” (2 Tim 2:13). No matter how I felt, God is faithful. It doesn’t matter if I check all the items off my to-do list, God remains steadfast. He’s with me. God is always with me, whether or not I feel his presence. As I considered this truth, Peter’s inspired words surfaced in my mind, “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Pet 5:7). God is a very present help to his children (Ps 46:1). I pushed my agenda for the day aside and basked in this truth. The clouds of angst broke, allowing the light of God’s presence to fill me. Maybe the day wouldn’t be that long.