A lesson in hearing God’s voice
by Leslee Stewart
Sometimes I wish God was as easy to reach as a friend on Facebook. There are times when I’m facing a problem and I’d like to instant message God to get a quick answer rather than pray and trust Him to lead me.
Over the last year our family faced a big decision – where to send our oldest to kindergarten this fall. I started interviewing everyone I knew. I researched schools online, visited them in person, and even looked into homeschooling and co-op choices. I wanted to be fully armed with information to make the best choice for our son.
The more I researched, the more the answer seemed to point back to our local public school. I knew it had a great reputation, but a big hurdle in choosing a public school was the fact that my husband and I were products of a Christian school education. Even though we have plenty of amazing Christian friends who are products of public school, there was definitely some fear of the unknown about public school.
For several weeks, I had been praying for God to give us some peace about sending him to public school. I just kept meditating on Proverbs 3:5-6 (one of my favorite scriptures). “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your path.”
That phrase, “submit to him,” is so crucial to being able to hear his voice. Often, when we are waiting on God’s direction, we will begin by submitting our request to him in prayer. But then we find ourselves picking it back up – worrying about it, questioning what we should do, getting opinions from others, trying to figure it out on our own – when all God wants us to do is, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
So I was still. When people asked what we were going to do, I’d let them know I was still waiting on God. It was hard to be patient, but I knew his plan and timing would be perfect. And, more importantly, his answer would bring the peace I was seeking.
Around the time we needed to make a decision, I found myself at a GFC MOPS park day visiting with Pam Otto, one of the mentor moms. In getting to know each other, Pam mentioned that her kids went to the neighborhood school my husband and I were considering. Then she shared that she leads a Moms In Touch group for that school. “What’s that,” I questioned.
She went on to tell me all about the group. How they pray specifically for each teacher and faculty member, for God’s covering to be on the school, interceding for his will to be done on the campus. She shared about how many Christian families she had met while being a part of the school, how her children had made quality friendships, how open teachers were to parent involvement.
When she was telling me this, I could feel the Holy Spirit saying, “This is your answer.” Everything Pam was sharing was what I had been looking for – a way to bring God’s light to a place that traditionally hasnot welcomed it.
When I got home, I picked up the phone to call my husband to tell him what I’d learned. But first I checked my messages. There was one, from a dear friend in Portland who owed me a return call. In missing me, she said, “Sorry I’m just now calling you back. I was busy with my Moms In Touch group this morning…”
At that point I just had to laugh at God’s timing. In one day, God had answered my prayer by sending two different people, who didn’t know what I was struggling with, to tell me about the same organization – which I’d never heard about – and testify how they are bringing Christ into their own public schools.
So this month, as I send my new kindergartener off to our local public school, I have peace and confidence knowing he’s right where God wants him. And I will be joining with other moms to cover him – and the school – in prayer.
And that’s better than any instant message I could have received.