September had slowly changed to October and with it the cool fall air had brought smiling scarecrows perched on bales of hay on front porches, cozy sweaters paired with boots and apple crisp served with vanilla ice cream on top. Autumn was my favorite season, the one I always anticipated most.... piles of leaves, mugs of soup, pumpkin patches, candy corn and giving thanks. It was a season of comfort, of warm things to wear and drink and cuddling by the fire was always welcome with a blanket for two. This year comfort was something I yearned for more than usual as two weeks had passed since the death of my sweet sister. I was driving home from work in the late afternoon sun along my usual route when out of the blue I felt a prompt for me to turn left at the upcoming light. I felt prompted to go to Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby was a Christian craft and decorative store that I loved shopping at. But I didn’t need or want anything there that day. I imagined myself later telling my husband after the fact that "I had needed to go to Hobby Lobby" and picturing his expression of "Uh, huh... sure you did" and laughed to myself. As I drove I remember thinking incredulously to myself I didn’t have any concrete reason to go there. But the prompting came again and so I flicked my blinker on, making the left hand turn at the green light up ahead. I continued down the main thoroughfare toward Hobby Lobby navigating congested late afternoon traffic. Finally I pulled into the parking lot and walked toward the large building. Walking through the glass doors and once inside, I paused wondering what the heck I was here for. I mentally chastised myself for driving all this way, fleetingly thinking this was just silly.
I was contemplating turning around and walking out when I felt prompted to walk down the main center aisle that split the store in half. Slowly walking down it I turned left on the second aisle. My eyes caught sight of something that made me stop in my tracks and almost gasp audibly.There at waist level was a brown plaque with a well-known verse printed on itin gold lettering. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 was the verse. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
It had been my sister’s favorite bible verse and was always book marked in her bible. I stood there motionless just staring at it. In the bright lights of the store I glanced around me and almost felt the need to ask someone to pinch me. Surely this was not coincidental, I told myself. I had been led here for a reason. I immediately took the plaque and headed to the register to purchase it. I felt great joy and comfort and thanked God for leading me to this gift. Once home I wasted no time in hanging the plaque in our hallway among various family photos that included my baby sister. Passing it in the hall would give me a sense of comfort, a smile, a reminder not only of my sister but of God’s everlasting presence in our lives and how thank goodness His love never fails.
Every day God is with us in the mundane, the busy, the good and the bad.... yet how often do we get caught up in the busyness of our life? Each of us can take the time out of our busy schedules, our hurried moments... to reach out to God and ask Him "What am I missing right now?".... "What am I not hearing or noticing, Lord, that you need me to see with new eyes and a fresh perspective?"
Are we chronically living in an environment of rushing from here to there and background noise that interferes with our ability to tap into what God has for us to see or hear? We can breathe deeply, exhale.... and take pause... we can listen with earnest for the Lord and His whisperings, prompting and signs from above. The words of the Lord we can treasure in our hearts and give thanks for his words of peace... for we never know what good His words will lead us to.
Ways we can hear God...
1. Listening for His still small voice to be sure we are on the right path…
if we don't feel at peace we very well may not be listening for God's guidance
2. Sometimes God will speak loudly to get our attention
3. God may use other people in our lives to speak to us
4. He may use our circumstances to reveal something to us we need to learn
5. In reading our bible we may be directed to a certain verse God wants us to read
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013
“Autumn Leaves” by Paul via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
And he said to them,
“Pay attention to what you hear:
with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,
and still more will be added to you.
Mark 4:24 ESV
To My Readers:
Thank you for reading,
commenting and sharing!