There are many ways that God speaks to each of us, and there’s really no guarantees that we’ll always catch His multi-dimensional voice. I learned a valuable lesson years ago when I missed His whisper and call to me, and that had profound eternal meaning. And He didn’t share my blatant blunder with me until ten years later. Do you know how small, insignificant, and embarrassed you can feel when you realize that you’ve missed His voice and His purposes for ten long years?
I’ve tried to be more sensitive to His tender speech since my enormous bungle years ago. My brokenness and repentance have helped with my sorrow. And if I can help someone else to be a bit more sensitized to His dealings, then my mistake will carry for me a sense of redemption.
Early in our marriage my husband and I had been evangelizing. We tried to attend every seminar for evangelists during that time. The last one we attended, Reverend Nathaniel Urshan was teaching on the Ministry of Intercession. He explained many insights into the ministry. One of his statements caught my attention. This isn’t an exact quote, but a summary from my memory. “Intercessors usually don’t like to go to parties because they carry heavy burdens.” Well, I love to laugh and do enjoy wholesome fun; so as he was teaching, I specifically remember the mental image of a large yellow pad (in my mind). On the paper I wrote the word, “Intercession” and crossed through it with a big black marker. That was not a ministry for me. Done.
In retrospect I’m sure I over-exaggerated his point, perhaps misinterpreted his emphasis, and gave more weight to his remarks than he intended.
Fast forward ten years with me. My husband and I are now pastoring. It’s Sunday morning, I’m listening as my husband preaches about Peter going in a different direction when he is old. In fact, the scripture says he will be lead where “he did not choose to go” (John 21:18). I was engrossed.
Suddenly the voice of the Lord interrupted my thoughts and said, “And I called you to the ministry of intercession ten years ago and you said, No. I quickly countered, “When did I ever tell you No, Lord? He brought the yellow pad to my memory with the word intercession scratched out. He continued, “I’m calling you again and this time I don’t want you to say No. He had me – bull’s eye. I was shocked and humiliated, and repented on the spot. We continued the conversation as I processed my remorse. I gave a lot of yes’s that morning to the Lord but, horror of horrors, I’ll never get those ten years back.
What I learned that morning was to keep my ears open and attentive. I even started focusing on reining in my sometimes narrow-minded ideas. He’s ever searching for the impressionable, the willing, and a spirit that says yes. There’s truly eternal value housed in the sensitized ear.
By Cindy Meadows