I know you can doubt this—my voice speaking to you now. Your skepticism and your hunger are colliding. That’s okay. I can work with that. It is the hunger you have that I respond to. The skepticism can stay there; I am not going to try to chase it away. It can sit in the corner, be in the background, its thin shadow casting dark and transparent on the wall. That doesn’t bother me. It’s you I’m after.
It is your heart that interests me most. It can feel heavy this day, I know. Do you want to sit here with it, with this heavy heart? Do you want to bear the weight of it alone? Because I can help you with it. I can carry it so there is no burden. It is your hand in mine, your eyes on me, your mind soft and ready to listen, that will give you freshness in your lungs, your mind, your heart. Breathe me in, daughter. Breathe me in, son.
Those words, daughter . . . son. They are no small words. They are what I name the ones whom I have made, the women and men whom I crafted with my own hands, my breath bringing you life in your spirit. My spirit brings your spirit life. Your mind and your heart, they respond to my voice, my presence in you. It is practicing listening to that voice, practicing turning toward the awareness of me that makes you stronger, fearless. It is your weakness, your dependence upon me that is your strength. It is your hunger for me—and you’re feeding that hunger—that equips you to go through this day without regret; for you know that whatever this day holds, I am the One who is carrying the burdens.
I am the one who is listening, who knows the call of your spirit to me, who can teach you how to recognize me more. Because that is a lot of the problem—you are not recognizing where I am when you need me most. And you need me when you don’t even realize you need me. And then the burden comes, and it feels too great. And then you reach out, or you stay silent (the skepticism can strangle the words of the heart here sometimes) and you wonder where I am.
But daughter, but son . . . the ones whom I made, the ones whom I love, I am here. I have been here the whole time. Shall I help you to practice recognizing me now? Shall I be the guide that helps you take one step toward the awareness of me in your life, and then another? Yes, let us begin.
How do we become more aware of the voice and presence of God? It starts with simply being quiet . . . and making our hearts and our minds present and available. Get rid of anything that’s in the way of being present and available to God. Release skepticism. Lay down timetables and expectations for certain outcomes.
You are not at risk. Turn your heart and your mind toward God, and allow Him to come.
Now, take a step back. For each thought, ask yourself, is this the kind of thought God might originate—based upon everything we know about him from Scripture? If a thought comes that doesn’t feel like the kind God might originate, just recognize it, and then gently bring your focus back to Him.