ENCOURAGE EVERYONE IN THE HILL CITY AREA TO HAVE A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST!
Wings of Hope by BJ Reese
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; His truth shall be they shield and buckler.” ~ Psalms 91:4
STILL, SMALL VOICE
When I was a child, my mother worked hard to teach us right from wrong. As I grew older, I came to recognize the “voice” that I knew as conscience. When Mama wasn’t around, it reminded me what I should or shouldn’t do. By the time I married and moved out of Mama’s house, I had a good, strong conscience. I diligently worked to avoid wrong choices and behaviors. I didn’t like the way it felt when I chose badly – the lump in my throat, the knot in my stomach. They weren’t worth it. I tried to live my life as if Mom was watching, trying to always do those things that wouldn’t upset her if she know about them. For a long time, that’s where I thought the “voice” of my conscience came from – my mother. It didn’t matter, really. I figured that, as long as I listened to it, I’d be fine. And – for myself – I did pretty well most of the time. What really surprised me, though, was how often that voice in my head complained when my husband made wrong choices. Whenever Steve lied to someone or drank too much, I would feel that same knot in the pit of my stomach. Any time he did something that I’d been taught was wrong, my body reacted in the same way it did when I did something wrong. In my late 30s, I began making a deliberate effort to develop a relationship with God. I’d always believed. I’d accepted Christ as my savior when I was about 10 or 11. I knew how to pray and did so daily. But I’d never had the sense that my “conversations” with God were a two-way street. It was more Like I talked, and tried to believe He’d heard me. I had never learned how to tell for sure if He had. I wanted to change that. The creek on our property provided the perfect classroom. Sitting near its banks, listening to the water sing over the rocks, I began to notice a change. I would talk out loud to God, then sit quietly to listen and wait. There it was! That same still, small voice I’d heard most of my life. Finally, I understood. The voice of my “conscience” may have been nurtured and trained by my mother, but she wasn’t the source. God was. Looking back over my life, I can see many times when that Voice tried to guide my actions. One incident that stands out most clearly came in July, 1981. In a state of despair and desperate sorrow, I stood at the top of an 80-foot granite cliff on the coast of Maine. As I considered stepping off the edge, that Voice was there. This time, it repeated the words I’d heard from the man I loved. When he’d found out I was trying to hurt myself one day, he looked at me with tears in his eyes. “Lady, don’t you DARE bail out on me! I NEED you!” When that still, small Voice whispered those words in my mind, I froze. I gripped the top rail of the fence tightly and just stood there. Critical tidbits of wisdom where whispered in my mind until I finally stepped back from the edge of that cliff. Ever since that day, I’ve worked hard to learn to listen for that Voice and understand what it was telling me. Often, it speaks in very brief, very soft phrases. Usually, they are “felt” more than “heard”. “Run this errand first.” “Call your sister (or someone else).” “Look here . . .” Tiny little nudges every day, designed to steer my journey through this life. Isaiah 55:3 tells us: “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live.” Whenever I listen, and follow the Guidance I hear, I’m always glad I did. When I ignore it and go my own way, I usually regret it in a short amount of time. Learning to take a brief pause to really notice what that Voice is saying has been an ongoing process. I still practice every day, and I’m still learning. There is joy in that process. Today, I have a clear understanding of Whose Voice I’m hearing. Not my mom. Not simply conscience. It is the still, small Voice of my Father. Because I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, God uses the power of the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart and Guide my life. Every day, in a thousand tiny ways, His Guidance whispers its way into my heart and mind. Now that I understand that, I find myself listening for that Voice even harder. I don’t want to make any decisions without Him. As a result, I’m happier and more at peace than ever.
See you next time . . . To His Glory . . . BJ Reese
Hill City Area Ministries, Inc.
A South Dakota Non-Profit Corporation
Income Tax Deductible IRS 501 (c) (3) Organization