“Oh, no! That’s the last thing they need!” I thought as I scrolled through the text my friend sent me. Natalie and her husband are missionaries on the island of Kodiak, Alaska. Their island is breathtakingly beautiful, but it has been hit hard recently in the form of exorbitant food prices due to the corona virus. A few days before, Natalie sent me a picture of her groceries for the week—just enough to get them through the next seven days. The total bill was $400.
Reading through the text, my heart sank as Natalie told how she’d gone out to the freezer in their garage to grab something for lunch. Upon opening the freezer, she discovered bags of mushy meat and thawed food. A few things were salvageable, but the majority of the food had to be thrown away. Natalie described how it painful it was to dump unopened packages of food, but God whispered a distinct message to her heart, This is just a temporary roadblock. At the time she didn’t understand what it meant, but she trusted God that everything would be okay.
Natalie went on to say they were relieved to discover the freezer wasn’t broken—the electricity to the garage had just been off due to a popped circuit breaker. That was a relief!
But the text message didn’t end there. They sent their son out to grab the mail, and in the mail was a card containing a check for groceries. It was enough to cover the cost of the ruined food, plus more. How amazing that God sent just what they needed the exact moment they needed it!
But….I also discovered the other side of the story. (By accident, mind you!) I happen to know the person who sent the money, although they didn’t tell anyone they’d sent it. However, there was a bit of a mix-up with text messages, and I found out. 🙂 So in the end, I chatted with them about it and was thrilled to hear how God prompted them—days before—to send grocery money to Natalie and her family.
“God just impressed me to do it. I’m so glad that I listened.” they told me.
I love that! God whispered direction to His servant’s heart, the servant listened, and as a result, His children were blessed and provided for!
How amazing to think that God will use us as instruments of His love and provision, if we open our hearts to the whispers of His voice! It may come when God awakens you in the middle of the night with someone on your mind, prompting you to pray for them. He might open your eyes to a financial or physical need that you can meet. Perhaps He will encourage you to babysit for a single mom or mow lawn for an elderly friend. He may cross your path with someone who needs the hope of the Gospel.
In Acts 8:26, the Lord prompted a man named Phillip to go into the desert. Phillip was busy preaching the Gospel in Samaria. Many people there had received Jesus and were baptized. (Acts 8:12) I wonder if Philip was confused by God’s direction? I mean, why leave a place where people are responding to the Gospel message and go to a desert?
But Philip obeyed God and headed into the desert. And there in that barren, dusty wasteland he met a man from Ethiopia. Scripture says he was “a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure.” (Acts 8:27) This man of great influence had come to Jerusalem to worship and was travelling home. As he rode in his chariot, he read a portion of Scripture from Isaiah.
The Spirit of God told Phillip to run to the chariot. Phillip obeyed, heard the man reading Isaiah, and asked if he understood what he was reading. Then followed a conversation which led to the conversion and baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch. All because Phillip listened to the voice of God and obeyed!
My friend, let’s commit to having our hearts and minds open to those quiet whispers of God. It will require that we block out the noisiness of the world and spend time with Him in prayer and His Word. It will require that we learn to listen for that still, small voice.
And then when we do hear God’s voice, let’s commit to obedience. We don’t always know both sides of the story (as was the case with Natalie’s groceries), but we do know this:
If we listen and obey when God calls us to act, we have the privilege of participating in God’s Kingdom work!
“And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.” (I Samuel 3:10)
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