I tried meditating for five minutes one morning recently. I was reading in the Bible how David meditated on God’s Word and I decided to do the same. Of course I’ve heard many times how prayer is how we speak to God, and meditation is how we can hear Him speak back to us. And I’ve tried it many times and realized it truly works. But then…I’m late for work, I’m not feeling well, I have an early appointment, etc. etc. And I forget. This particular morning I woke up energized with plenty of time to get where I needed to go. So I sat quietly, looking out the back window of my bedroom which overlooks the woods. And then I saw it…a dash of light coming from the trees, like a signal. I stared and saw a flash of red. And then I listened and I heard it. A tapping, knocking sound, and I realized it was a woodpecker in my tree. I wondered what God was trying to tell me. And then I knew. I have been praying for guidance in my endeavors to get my novels, The Faithful One and The Peace Maker, modern-day Bible stories based respectively on Job and David – out there to the world. The answer I heard from Him – by steadily, consistently, chipping way at my goals one peck at a time. The woodpecker can eventually knock down an oak tree, one peck at a time. Depending on the size, it may take hours, days, weeks, a year. But it will happen – if God wills it. I believe God speaks to us in so many ways – we just have to be still enough, quiet enough – for Him to get our attention and for us to hear Him. What I heard and wanted to share with you – keep chipping away – that tree will fall!
Monthly Archives: September 2014
ISIS, the Islamic State that has been terrorizing and killing thousands of Christians and Yazidis, beheading American and British reporters, taking women and children as sex slaves – has also begun to destroy historic religious shrines. ISIS militants recently bombed and destroyed the tomb of Jonah and the mosque that housed it, obliterating for all time an important Holy place of worship – not only for Christians, but Jews and Muslims as well. For those not familiar with the story, the Book of Jonah tells the story of the prophet Jonah balking at first when God tells him to go to Nineveh to preach. Instead, Jonah sails in another direction, where he encounters a great storm and winds up being swallowed by a great fish. He spends three days in the belly of the fish before emerging alive to follow God’s instruction to go to Nineveh. Some scripture scholars say it was a foreshadowing of how Jesus would spend three days in the tomb before being resurrected. The destruction of Jonah’s tomb saddens me in particular because my next book to be published is the modern-day Bible story titled “The Runaway Prophet” based on Jonah. I’ve never (yet) had the opportunity to visit any Old Testament or New Testament holy sites in the Middle East. I only hope I haven’t waited too late – and pray that ISIS is stopped. That’s all we can do back home here in the US besides donate to humanitarian efforts and write our Congressmen to take action. To save these holy and historic places of worship – and most importantly, to save the lives of innocent victims.
I think there’s a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth. I have worked recently on trying to become a friend who listens instead of a friend who just gives advice. I know often the solution to whatever problem I’m experiencing is within me – and I just need to hear myself talk it out with a good friend who listens! When we’re busy giving advice to our friends without really listening to them, sometimes it may be because we want that friend to do what WE want or WE believe they should do instead of what GOD wants them to do. Take Job’s friends for example in the Bible’s Book of Job. They gave poor Job all sorts of advice when he was going through all of his pain and suffering: you must have done something to bring this on, you should repent, you should do more, pray more, be more…when in fact, none of that was true. Job just had to be still and finally hear God’s voice speak to him through the stillness (and finally hear Him when his friends stopped chattering!) The answer was simple: God has a plan and we may not know the answer as to why we’re experiencing pain or suffering at the moment – but if we continue to have faith, the answer will reveal itself in God’s time. Today, let’s be a good friend to someone by simply listening – and let God do the talking!