I took a 5mi/8km walk through an 8700 acre / 3500 hectare park. (Being Florida and not Australia it was fairly flat.) I was wanting to pray and walk and listen for God on the trip. The first half of the walk was fairly frustrating as I had many distracting thoughts about all kinds of things also wondering if the noises (mostly bird movements) I heard in the scrub beside me was perhaps one of the bobcats that live in the park. I stopped looking over the Econlockhatchee river. The water was black as could be from the tannins of the Cypress trees. Yet the water was nearly still, and as I looked across the water I could see the reflection of the trees and sky. At that point I prayed that even in my non perfect state that I would reflect God like the water reflected the sky and trees. I read my Bible on my phone and sat and prayed for awhile. Then resumed my walk. After about 2/3 of the walk, I really felt that God was saying some things to me. The first was the chorus “My hope is in you Lord, my strength is in you Lord, my life is in you Lord, in you, its in you…” Most of the situational lessons for me related to the map and the path and their analogies to the path of my life that God has me on.
I was 3/4 of the way through my walk, when I chose to move to the other side of the trail. As I took the first or second step toward the other side, I saw there exactly in the path that I had been walking, the pictured Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake about 2/3 of the length of the snake (give or take) in front of me directly facing me. So had I not made that change of direction, I likely would have been within easy striking distance of an uncoiled poisonous snake. (I walked around the back side of him before pulling out my phone for a picture as it just felt like the safer thing to do.) I instantly thought that God wanted me to know that although I think that I am making a choice or change of my own when it comes to my current ministry/life directional choices, it is really He who is guiding my way. That is a very comforting thing to know.
Anyway after snapping the picture and walking 20 meters or so further, I had the thought that if God is guiding my way, why not close my eyes and see where I end up. Well that was followed immediately by the thought that God is not a mystical “Force” guiding me and controlled by me [e.g. Star Wars], but He uses the things He gave me to help lead me and He gave me eyes so that I would use them. I am not to follow[put my trust in] my feelings [instincts] but to follow my God. If I choose sin, it would not be God guiding me into it. It is more of a partnership/relationship as opposed to me being a marionette. In other words He has given me a brain and the ability to think and make choices, but He is still guiding also. Such a wonderful paradox.
Anyway I felt cared for and loved because the God of the universe, who created more than the mortal humans can ever see, cared for me and has time for me. (He cares for you and has time for you too.)
Have you taken time to listen to Him? How have you listened to Him lately?