For however devoted you are to (God), you may be sure that he is immeasurably more devoted to you. –Meister Eckhart
“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” (Hab. 1:5)
Today is now the fifth day of missionary formation, formally entitled “Intake,” and my mind feels overwhelmed with God’s greatness. His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22) and His voice echoes throughout the earth (Ps. 29:3) and in the deep recesses of my heart. God is so great! I want to shout it out to the world, “He really is lovely, He really is in control, He really is alive.” Here at big Woods we have a saying: we serve a real God, who does real things for real people in the real world.”
A “Real God”
God still speaks to His people today. We Christians often spend so much time talking at God that we don’t have time to hear the whisper of His voice (Job 26:14; I Kings 19:12). And yet it is there, like the heartbeat of life itself keeping all in existence and making all things new (Rev 21:5). God continually summons His people (Ps 50:1).
Since we arrived here I have spent more time listening than speaking. At first it was wearisome but soon it became a great joy. For me it’s easiest to hear God in the dark beginning of the morning before my mind becomes busy. I wake up and get some coffee (if possible without turning on the light) and then go and just sit at the table or chair. Sometimes I remind myself who my God is by reciting the Creed and reminding myself who I am by reciting the prayer of the tax collector (Luke 18:13) “Have mercy on me,a sinner.”
At this point I begin to slowly repeat the Jesus prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me) and listen. I don’t think about anything other than the fact that He is present within me (Luke 17:21) and I am sick with love for Him.” (Song of Solomon 2:5) In this way I seek him whom my soul loves (Song of Solomon 3:1). Each morning I do this, the reality of His presence and its recognition grows for me. I sense Him deeply abiding with me, near me, within me, surrounding me. He is real. I don’t always hear Him but I wait for Him and in that waiting I receive the grace and strength to actualize my day (Is. 40:31)
Although there are definitely times when I sense God speaking in a special way to me during my quiet times with Him, I usually hear God through scripture. Sacred Scripture is God’s normal medium of communication to His people. I really have never read the Bible all the way through. Certain books I have read many times but during the past few days of intake, we have been challenged to read the entire Bible, Catechism, and all 16 documents of Vatican II during our first year of mission work. Therefore I have decided to take up the challenge and am currently on Day 3 of an attempt to read through the entire Bible in 31 days. I want my thoughts, words, actions, and life to be modeled on the Word of God. Please pray for Teresa and I as we dive into God’s word in a radical way. We know we need to know God’s word in a profound way so as to share this Word with the world that needs Him. God’s word is living and active (Heb 4:12). I know I need to hear what He has said and is still saying to His people.
“Let my Lord speak, for you have strengthened me” (Dan 10:19)