Brother Lawrence, who served in a Carmelite monastery in the 1600s, said, “How happy we would be if we could find the treasure of which the gospel speaks; all else would be as nothing. As it is boundless, the more you search for it, the greater the riches he will find; let us search unceasingly and let us not stop until we have found it.”
I remember in my early twenties reading John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. That verse stirred in me a hunger to specifically hear God speak to me. I didn’t know how to hear His voice. I continued to seek Him in my 20s, but not very desperately.
Fast forward 20 some years and some significant hardships have transpired. I experienced ongoing anxiety and insomnia for several years, job loss, marital strife, estranged friendships and several moves. After several years out of the workforce I began pursuing a demanding job as a Sign Language interpreter where I always felt not quite good enough. It has been a slow creeping struggle to move from that mindset to a mindset where I pursue learning and embrace that I will need to invest time and effort to that end for the rest of my life.
God has been graciously teaching me along the way. Desperation has only increased my need and desire to know Him.
In the past 4 or 5 years, I have been introduced to the idea of praying and asking God to give me eyes to see and ears to hear Him, under the guidance of the word of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit. Then I sit in quiet, listening, ready to write what He might be speaking to me. Sometimes I write very little, but sometimes things come pouring out of my pen. Every time, it’s an act of faith. It’s believing God has plans to ultimately prosper and not to harm me, in spite of what I feel and how my life seems to be going at the time.
I like calling this newly discovered “thing” I do, a practice because it’s simply that, a practice. I have no idea what I’m doing. I just journal my thoughts, sorrows, and longings and record God’s specific responses if I sense anything.
This practice is similar to what Brother Lawrence experienced and described in his book, published posthumously, titled “The Practice of the Presence of God.”
I’m learning experientially that God is personal. He gets me and “speaks my language”, because He made me and knows me. He delights in satisfying the word nerd in me. He imparts hope when I feel hopeless. Often, He will bring a scripture verse to mind emphasizing a particular truth.
I am finally starting to pay attention, listening to and looking for what God might be speaking to me. I’m living in greater expectation. I am seeking His guidance and persevering in Him. He is my Wonderful Counselor.
– Vonda Sellers