The Best Way to Hear From God

Several years ago I was with my family at the beach in Florida for Spring Break. One day was particularly warm and beautiful — a special treat given it was March and it was still cold back home in the Colorado mountains. I was by the shoreline watching my 3 kids have a wonderful time playing in the waves. To top it off, I was with a good friend from home and we were having a great conversation. I was relishing the moment because even though my friend lives 10 minutes from me, our busy lives had made discussions like this less common lately. Happy kids. Sunny skies. Warm water. Good conversation. What more do you want from a beach vacation?

At about that time, I heard my wife, Michelle, calling out to me a hundred yards from the water’s edge, but the sound of the waves and childrens’ laughter were muting her voice. I have to confess that my initial reaction was irritation. Everything’s perfect, so why does she have to disrupt this rare moment of bliss? After 2-3 failed attempts to understand her, I finally apologized to my friend, excused myself, and walked, semi-seething, away from the water towards Michelle. As I got closer to her, she said in calm voice: “Whenever you’re ready, I have cold drinks and ham sandwiches made for you.” The first thought that came to mind was: “You, Jeff, are a schmuck.” In my little waters-edge world, I couldn’t imagine anything else I needed. But as I went toward to the quiet voice a surprising blessing was awaiting me.

Later that night, I thought about that experience and realized how it mirrors much of my journey toward a life closer to God:

1. I need to frequently get away from the noisiness of my daily life and move closer to God to hear what He has to say to me.

2. Even when life seems to be just right (as defined by my flawed human mind), God has something in store for me that is better. He loves me, and His plan for my life, though possibly quite dif­ferent from my current life, will be joyful.

I often ask successful people, Christians and non-Christians, how they would rank the quality of their lives on a 1-5 scale. Not in terms of finances, but in general: How good is life for you? Most say they’re “ok” and rank their lives “somewhere in the 4 range”. Think about that for yourself for a moment. How would you rank the quality of your life?

Now imagine the scale goes to 20. How does it make you feel to know that that there is a whole other level of joy, peace, and fulfillment that’s available to you that you aren’t even aware of? My encouragement is to get quiet often, draw close to God, and go get your cold drink and ham sandwich from Him.