I remember one time a patient of mine was trying tell me something in Spanish and I thought I heard her say, “Gracias, Adios,” in the middle of her sentence. I asked her to repeat it several times and kept hearing the same thing. I was confused because I thought she was saying, “Thanks, but goodbye.” I was ready to say goodbye and write up her discharge summary even though she still needed much more therapy in my opinion. Luckily, another person was nearby and able to translate. My patient was actually saying, “Thank the Lord, I’m better.” Thank the Lord in Spanish is, “Gracias a Dios.” We laughed long and hard about that one! She was speaking, and I heard her, but I got the message wrong.
Learning how to how to hear from God is the same. At first, it isn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s really confusing. I’ve found that God does not speak English (shocker), which makes sense because he is supernatural. Just as my patient spoke in her language, so God usually chooses to speak in His. He speaks supernaturally because he is supernatural. So what does that mean? If I want to hear from God, I have to learn God’s language, the supernatural. Dreams, visions, impressions, signs, and nature (and much more!) are all ways that I believe God talks to us. He has probably been trying to talk to me for years, and I’ve never paid attention because I’ve never been taught. Reading my Bible, hearing from God through preachers and Sunday school teachers and the occasional wise word from a friend were the only ways I knew how to hear from Him. Those are the only ways I was taught. I didn’t speak his language. Friends, please know that God wants us to hear from him even more than we desire. We are his children and he wants to communicate with us.
So, one night about two weeks ago, I decided to try something new. I asked God to speak to me in a dream. “Speak, Lord, for I am listening,” I said to Him as I placed a notebook and pen on my bedside table (I wanted to be able to write the dream down so I wouldn’t forget it). God didn’t fail me. While some dreams are just random, others are definitely from God. This one definitely was.
In order to understand my dream, you need to understand what happened more than 3 years ago. Reading my previous blog will help you understand, but most of you know that my husband, Patrick, and I believe God is calling us to something. We once thought he may have been calling my husband to preach but doors began closing to that very quickly. Discouragement lead to disappointment and we doubted God. At a very serious point in a conversation one night, a snake suddenly appeared in our living room. Patrick and I had each seen a snake earlier that same day. The one I previously saw had even struck at my car! Needless to say, we believed that God was telling us in a supernatural way that our discouragement was from Satan and was represented by the snakes.
Fast forward to approximately 2 weeks ago. In my dream, I saw Patrick pick up the snake that had appeared in our living room and place it outside our home. Believe me when I tell you, I did not watch my husband do that 3 years ago. I actually hid my eyes. I felt that I understood at least part of what the dream meant and woke Patrick to say, “I think God is showing me this dream to confirm that your spiritual gift is encouragement. You picked up the snake, representing discouragement, and moved it away from us. The opposite of discouragement is encouragement and for some reason God is saying this is important. When you encourage someone you are defeating Satan. Don’t take your spiritual gift lightly.” Then we went back to sleep.
This last Sunday, my husband was privileged to preach his first sermon in a small church in Axtell, Texas. On the final stretch of our drive home, I realized he performed at his best when, at the conclusion of his sermon, he gave encouraging words to various groups within the congregation. Just as I recognized this, two words almost magically popped into my head (thank you, God) – motivational speaker. I thought for a moment, and then my dream made even more sense. “Patrick,” I said, “I think God is calling you to be a motivational speaker. That’s what the dream (and other signs we had received) meant.” Immediately after I said that, a coyote ran in front of our car. We know that a coyote is nocturnal. This was at two in the afternoon, in the bright sun. Because this was so strange, I immediately googled coyote and Bible references. By now, I was used to God doing things like this to us. I knew it meant something! The only reference I found was in Isaiah 43:20, “The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals (coyotes) and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed.” I don’t think God can be any clearer than that. I firmly believe that God wants to use my husband like a river to coyotes; to give refreshment by encouraging those who are in their personal dry wastelands. While Patrick already does this to some extent, others signs we have received make me believe God wants to use him on a much larger scale.
And guess what? God definitely has a sense of humor. Patrick and I were talking about the coyote being a sign over dinner last night, and my oldest son, Jett, who is almost 7, said, “No, I don’t think the coyote was a sign. He was just looking for water.” My husband laughed and said, “That’s exactly the point. He was looking for water!” And Jett responded, “No. He was just looking for a river or something because he was thirsty. That’s all.” Out of the mouths of babes, my friends.
There will be more to this story, and I am waiting in expectation for God to bring this to pass. I don’t believe it will be soon, since I believe God has spoken a bit more about this to me.
My reasons in writing this is twofold. First, when it happens I want those around us to see that God is still at work and I want the glory to be His. Second, and more importantly, I want to encourage you to ask God to speak. If you find your relationship with God frustrating and even boring because you feel communication is one way, learn how God communicates. It may be very different from how he speaks to me, but he is already speaking to you if you are his child. Don’t you want to know what he’s saying? Find books that teach you how to hear from God in supernatural ways. I can recommend some if you want to know more. I am still learning, and I’m sure I will make errors along the way just as I did with my patient. But that doesn’t mean God isn’t speaking. It just means I need more practice to understand him more clearly. (And he is giving me lots of practice.) The wonderful thing is that God has given us the Holy Spirit, our personal translator, to help us and guide us into understanding. When I don’t understand something that I believe God is trying to say, I have learned that if I pray and ask for understanding, God will reveal it in His time.
Be encouraged! God has no favorites. He communicates with all of us. Your relationship with God can be deeper! Your faith can grow! God can become more real to you! God wants to be a friend to you and he wants you to hear him. When you become open to hearing and seeing God in supernatural ways, your relationship with Him becomes an exciting adventure. He is waiting to speak to you. Open your spiritual eyes and ears, and I promise, you will see and hear from Him, too.
Blessings to all,