Throughout history, God has used a variety of means in order to communicate with His children. His use of the burning bush to communicate with Moses may be the most famous. Then there’s the donkey through which He spoke to Balaam and the whirlwind through which He spoke to Job. For one man I know, it was John Grisham’s novel The Testament that God used to bring him to the point of salvation.
My most recent atypical means of hearing from God came from the television show Madam Secretary. In season 2, episode 21, the drama revolves around escalating global nuclear threats and the corresponding problems of tracking key terrorists. While conversing with one of her staff, the Secretary of State’s Chief of Staff, Nadine, attempts to alleviate her colleague’s stress level by saying, “There are times when you need to trust that you’re part of a larger picture.”
Immediately I pressed the pause button on the DVR and grabbed my notebook. That line was for me. From God. I had no doubt about it and I wanted to get it right, so I listened to the line again and wrote it down: There are times when you need to trust that you’re part of a larger picture.
That one statement was a divine reminder from my heavenly Father. Do you feel threatened by the circumstances in your life? Are you having trouble tracking the details, understanding what it all means? You can’t see the bigger picture? Don’t worry! I can! My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways. Trust me with all your heart. Don’t rely on your own understanding. I know my plans for you and that’s all you need to know.
Dr. C. W. Christian, my Old Testament college professor put it this way: knowing God’s will does not mean we look forward and discern His will with every step we take. Instead, knowing God’s will means we pray for direction, we walk by faith, and after time has passed we may be able to look behind us and say, “Oh, so that’s what God was doing!”
If you’re hurting because you’ve been wounded by the very people God called you to serve, remember that you’re part of a bigger picture. God’s picture. Hold on to His promises and look for Him to speak to you in a variety of ways. He may not speak to you through a burning bush or a talking donkey or even a television show. But He will communicate with you in a way that touches your life right where you are. It may be through a song, a book, the words of a friend or something completely out of the blue. Your experiences would encourage others who are hurting so please feel free to leave a comment and share how God communicates with you during the painful times of life.