“And don’t pray to God, ’cause He won’t talk back”
As much as I like the soundtrack of Begin Again (one of my favorite films, by the way), this part of one of the movie’s soundtracks, A Step You Can’t Take Back, somehow bothers me and makes me uncomfortable whenever I listen to it. Maybe the writer of this song was referring to some other god or maybe it’s a metaphor or something. I only love music but I’m not a music and lyrics genius so I can’t really tell. Nevertheless, one thing’s certain here: this statement is in no way the truth.
I strongly disagree. Because God does talk to us. And I’m saying this not because I’m a Christian, but because God really talks to us. In many ways. In many forms.
And I personally experienced that. God talked to me. In one of those days when I felt I was not deserving of His presence.
It was the fifth and last day of the annual prayer and fasting time of our church. I was supposed to do my morning devotions but I woke up late so I decided to do it during lunch break instead. But that wasn’t what God wanted to happen.
It was 10 minutes before 7am and my work starts at 7am so I should be going already but that task was very important so I had to message my co-teacher that I will be late for work that day. I finished the task just before 8am so I actually could head on to the school so I won’t be super late. Then my eye caught the Prayer and Fasting booklet and my journal on the table. Then there was the prompting to do my quiet time that very moment.
Admittedly, I was a bit hesitant to do it since the P&F material this year is too extensive (at least for me) and requires more time than usual, with the spiritual exercises and all. And it meant I will have to call my school and tell them I had to go half-day.
I know I’m not a super Christian and oftentimes, I don’t walk the talk. But there were some moments in my walk with God that I could really feel when He wants to tell me something. And that day was one of those moments.
The topic that day was about how to hear from God. And that’s something that really interests me, although I have to admit that it’s not really often that I hear from Him. While reading the instructions on the spiritual exercise, crumbs of doubts started filling my mind and heart. I just felt that I’m way too insufficient to hear from God that time. Imagine, I couldn’t do my morning devotions because I would be late for work but I could call in late when there’s an urgent task from my online work? I’m definitely not a model Christian. I mean, why would God talk to me? I felt undeserving and unqualified to hear from Him that time.
But He did. And the scene’s still very vivid in my memory. These were the very words He spoke to me with:
“I’m the one who created the situation that caused you to be late from school. Because I missed you. You are so busy with your life that we only talk for a bit most of the time. Like a mother waiting for a call from her daughter living far away, I long for you to call Me and talk to Me and spend some time with Me. Yes, you are late for work today but you don’t have to worry because I will take care of it. I am more important than your job. I tell you, you don’t need to worry about your 2017 because I have it all planned perfectly for you. I am in charge of your 2017. You don’t have to worry. All your fears, anxieties, stress, cast them all on Me. I will take care of them. Just believe that I am with you.
There are times when you think you are insignificant. There may be times that you feel you don’t matter, that you are just a small piece of a puzzle. But I tell you, you are significant to Me. You are highly favored. You might not realize it now but I’m storming heavens to pour out the abundance of blessings and love on you. You are so much loved. You are very important to me. Never doubt that even for a second. I have loved you then and I will continue to love you till the end.”
I was crying the whole time I was penning down those words as I hear it. I didn’t expect that actual moment to happen that very morning. It was just so surreal.
I had to pen those words down because I want to read it over and over again. It was one of the remarkable encounters with God that I will definitely go back to whenever I feel down and unqualified. I’m not the highly spiritual type and I failed Him a lot of times but He still loves me and gives me that much importance to actually talk to me and let me hear His voice.
And I’m not psychotic (hello Dr.Gregory House!).
God actually talks to us. He is never busy for us. It is actually us who usually veer away from His presence when we get too busy with work and other things. And I’m guilty of that. I felt undeserving of His love but He still gives it to me in so much abundance.
You may have not experienced hearing from God yet but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t talk to you. Oftentimes, you just have to lock yourself from the world and really spend enough time seeking Him. Take time to enjoy His presence. He can talk to you through a friend, a Bible verse, a situation and promptings. You just need to be sensitive of His voice and believe that He really can talk to you.
When He seems silent, don’t be discouraged. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t care. According to Oswald Chambers, when God is silent, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible — with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation. Silence can also be a sign of intimacy. God wants you to seek Him more and He wants more of your time.
Faith. Never doubt. That’s the paramount point. You have to trust Him that He listens even if He seems silent.