Sunday, January 18, 2015

Little Nudges from God

Listening skills comprised a feature article in the Wall Street Journal this week.  The advice was not so much about hearing, but listening to those around you.   It is a matter not of wave lengths entering the ear, but honing one's sensitivity to the needs of others.

But listening to God -- well, of course, God takes that to another level.  Listening to God does not just mean receiving.  It means adjusting my heart -- not just my ears-- so as to respond quickly.

Over her 38 years in ministry in rural India, missionary Mary Geegh learned that kind of sensitivity to what I call "little nudges from God."  One day in struggling with a difficult co-worker, she sought God for a solution to the problem.

Mary recalled that one morning early she asked God for guidance:  what could she do to dissolve the critical feeling she had in her heart for this woman?  "Take her a fresh egg," came a thought. 

And as it is proven over and over, God's little nudges are almost always followed in our minds by a long list of excuses to not follow Him into it.

Mary dismissed the very idea.  And later when she came home midday, a chicken wandered into her little house, hopped up on a chair, and laid an egg before her.  How much more obvious could God be?

Mary still struggled with the ridiculous idea that seemed to make no sense.  What turned out was that it made no sense to her at the time, but the outcome was totally a design from God.  For when Mary reluctantly obeyed and finally delivered the single fresh egg, the woman was so grateful.

"Oh! That is just like God!" the woman said.  "He knew I had nothing to eat this day.  There just wasn't enough food for all, so I went without.  Then you brought the egg for me."

And then, that little act of what Mary thought was ridiculous obedience took root.  The egg did not just satisfy the woman's hunger that day, but impacted that family's walk with God, and as Mary discovered, "all the friction in my heart was gone."   A close relationship was nurtured between them.

That story from so far away and so long ago reminds me of those little nudges from God that I have ignored or responded too late to do anything about it.  Little do I know how God plans to use that crazy idea, if only I simply obey.  And sometimes it may be only for me to discover how much I trust God with my life.

To know the reason why is not my job.  Just to be faithful to Him.

How has God nudged me today?
How has He nudged me to obey?

And the LORD will guide you continually...

                             Isaiah 58. 11

Do not withhold good
    from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.

                             Proverbs 3. 27

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