Everyone wants to look their best on their special day...since today is Mother's Day, I decided yesterday that I would color my hair and get rid of some of the gray. Now I color my hair all the time, truly have no idea what the original color was since much of it is going gray, but this time it would have proved to be an adventure I did not wish to have.
To begin with, I went to the local "super" store which is being remodeled...can I just tell you how much I hate that process? Now I can't find anything I'm looking for! Well, I did finally find the hair color section and instead of grabbing my usual brand, I decided to try something different. One advertised it got rid of gray (which is really what I'm after) and after carefully choosing the shade of brown I wanted, I made my purchase.
Late last night, I began the process of coloring my hair. I read all the instructions and prepped my hair for its new glorious shade of brown....but something inside me had a "check". You know that feeling when something just isn't sitting right, but you aren't quite sure what it is. Some people call "it" intuition; I think that is often the voice of the Holy Spirit, but I digress. Anyway, I got that little nudge inside that stopped me. I looked at the bottle in my hand and decided I needed to look at ALL the ingredients in my box one last time. That's when I spotted it. The numbers on my "color tube" and the box did not match. If I had followed through without going back to look at all those ingredients, I would have been sporting platinum blond hair at church today. Not that blond isn't a good color for some, but trust me when I say it is NOT the color for me.
I put all the ingredients back into the box to return to the store today, and so began today's Random Thought.
Yesterday, I was talking to a good friend about a conversation we'd had about my blog, "I'm not sure it's what I thought it was...." We were both so excited because another discussion just confirmed that what we'd been thinking was the direction we felt God wanted us to go. Now, anytime you realize that you are being directed by God it's exciting, but I got to thinking about how many people are wanting to "hear from God" and yet don't know how. I'm not sure I have all the answers....make that I'm sure I DON'T have all the answers, but I have a couple of ideas that might help.
We begin hearing from God about the small things, not that He won't tell you to give up everything and move to a foreign country, but more often He gives you that little check in your spirit like the one I had last night that gets your attention. Now some may call that common sense, but after many years I've about decided that common sense just isn't that common any more....maybe because people have stopped listening for God's voice. That's also probably why many teenagers seem to have no "common sense"...they haven't had as many years to learn how to recognize that gentle nudge from God. It's that nudge, that little "wait a minute" inside you, that gets your attention. God doesn't always send some great booming voice, more often it's that still quiet voice inside that says "wait" or "go now". I guess one of the problems might be we're so busy and surrounded by so much other "noise" that we can't hear the quiet one.
I know some people are afraid that they'll "miss it" when they try to hear from God. A wise person once told me, "God not only knows the last thing He said to you, He knows the last thing you understood." As a parent, I know when I need to repeat myself because they didn't hear or understand me. My heavenly Father is a MUCH better parent than I am, why would I think He would do any less?
My husband has another quote that he uses: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience often comes from bad judgement." Those times when we feel God's prompting in an area and don't obey can be what helps us listen more closely the next time. It is a learning process. We learn to obey in the small areas so that when the time comes to walk in faith in the greater areas, we're better able to understand when it's God, and when it's just "us".
Surrounding yourself with godly friends is a HUGE help. I have a few people that I can go to and say "this is what I feel God is saying" and they often say they have been thinking the same thing themselves! It's exciting to hear from God, but to be able to share that excitement is so much FUN! The times I've felt like I needed to take a big step that required faith, it seems like God had already paved the way with my friends and they were walking with me! Having those people in your life who have walked with God for many years can make all the difference in the world. They understand those little nudges and can help you understand them too.
It all comes back to that still small voice; those little inner "nudges" that direct your steps. Yes, sometimes God requires us to take a great step of faith, and for those times He provides many different confirmations that it is indeed His voice that you've heard. But for me, it's the day to day walking with Him that I treasure so much...hearing His prompting in the little things as I take tiny steps toward doing His will. Today my prayer for you is that you will hear God's voice as he whispers, "this is the way...walk in it"(Isaiah 30:21). As for me, I think I'll treasure my grey hairs on Mother's Day. They represent years of learning to hear His voice....but I still plan to color them later today.