God is always speaking to His people. It’s not if God speaks, it’s when, for He definitely will speak. He knows we need answers; He is ready to speak to us as soon as we ask. But how does He speak to us today? There are no prophets to go to as the kings did in the Old Testament. Yes, we have His word, but sometimes the answers we need are specific to our current life and we find it hard to find the answer in our Bible. There is no verse that says, “Buy this house and not that one” or “take this job” or “attend that college”. How do we get the answers to those questions?
I learned a lesson about hearing from God. I learned that God will speak to me if I ask Him. All He requires of me is to pay attention. It was a time when I was desperately seeking direction in a decision we were trying to make for our family. It was a decision that would have huge impact on many lives. In 2005 we were given the opportunity to move from Ohio to Iowa. If we did this we would leave behind all our family all our friends…everyone we knew and loved. If this wasn’t God’s idea we needed to know it.
I had spent many hours in prayer asking for direction. It seemed that things were lining up in favor of the move. My husband was in negotiations for the job that had started our interest in moving and things were going well. We finally had our house in shape to sell. But for each reason we had in favor of the move we seemed to have an equally important reason to stay. We had lived in our home for 20 years and had solid roots for our children in our community. We had our first grandchild on the way. We could spend all day going back and forth with the pros and cons. What we really needed was a clear directive from God.
So I asked Him. I asked for a clear word of direction that I couldn’t misunderstand. And I got it. Not in a way I would have expected. It was completely unconventional. It didn’t fit in the “8 ways God speaks to us” format. God used a T-shirt. Not just any T-shirt, but one I had never seen and have never seen again in the many years since that day.
I was walking with my youngest four boys across the top of the levee at the state park near our home. It was a pleasant afternoon and several other people were running or biking along the same path. The boys had been running and exploring along the trail ahead of me while I walked leisurely, praying and asking God to please tell us where He wanted us. Were we to stay in Ohio or were we to take this huge leap of faith and move almost 700 miles to Iowa?
As I walked, one of my boys came back to grab my hand. At that moment a young man who had been running toward us on the trail came into close view. I read his tee-shirt out of habit. Don’t we always read people’s T-shirts? My young son who had just learned to read, read it too and when he did he immediately looked at me in amazement and said, “Mom did you see what his shirt said?” Yes, I had seen it and was just as amazed. I believe God used that shirt to speak the clear message I needed that day. What did the shirt say, you ask? Four simple but profound words. Just do it – Iowa.
James 1:5 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”