Last night was a night that–although not bad, not tragic, not melodramtic even–left me thirsty. I wasn’t even sure what I was thirsty for at first. Milk didn’t do the trick. Airborne (the hotcider version yuk!) definitely didn’t. When I found myself disappointed that I had recently finished a childhood favorite book and started reaching for another, I realized what I was thirsty for.

O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; ~ Psalm 63:1

“God, I need to be near You tonight. I need You to be near me. I guess basically I just need a hug from You.” And that’s about as far as I got with my nightly Bible reading before I fell asleep in my chair. Waking up about an hour later, I stumbled up to bed. Guess He knew I needed sleep, too. =)

When people talk about hearing God’s voice, it seems as though it’s going to be something either audible or mysterious or both. And I admit that sometimes I have wished He would just thunder out of heaven His instructions for me or that He would have a bush burst into flames in my pathway (without setting fire to anything else and without consuming the bush–especially if it’s pretty) and speak to me out of it. But He doesn’t speak that way, and (much to my relief) when He does speak it isn’t mysterious at all, either. It just IS.

Sometimes when He speaks it’s like having a friend or family member that’s humming a tune which gets stuck in my head. Like this morning: when I woke up I had the song “Peace Be Still” by Ron Hamilton going through my head–Peace be still,/ Peace be still./ Hear His words come softly/ Through the storm/ Through the night/ Bringing perfect rest./ When the thunder crashes loudest/ And the waves grow wild and high,/ Jesus hears my cry,/ And He whispers “Peace be still.” [from memory, so I apologize for any errors!]

Sometimes when He speaks it’s like getting a letter or e-mail from a friend that has just exactly the right words in it for the moment I am in–a friend who knows how I think and how to explain things so I understand them. Like a few days ago as I was reading through several Psalms and kept noticing things that had to do with satisfaction. I had asked Him a few days before if it were really truly possible to be filled up rather than empty inside (there are just some days when one feels completely empty! and it seems at those times that one has never really been full, ever). And there were the verses . . . and I understood them and was satisfied.

I don’t know why I am surprised. And in a way I’m not. It’s more that I’m at home in them and amazed that I’m so welcome.  Psalm 32:7 says to God “Thou [art] my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.” [I love the word “Selah.” It means “stop and think about it.” And it makes me laugh with delight to think that poets in Israel used to put it in just like that.] And He HAS been doing just that. I’ve been tired and discouraged, and somehow there’s a song in my mind that reminds me of how much He loves me. I won’t have any clue where it came from (not the radio, not another person); it’s just there! And it will answer perfectly the issue I’m facing. Oh, it won’t tell me the magic combination that will make all troubles vanish: it just reminds me that He is my deliverer after all.

<>Like today. My boss is under a lot of pressure. Totally understandable. But she got mad at me–really mad for . . . I’m still not totally sure if it was me or just a combination of things. I tried to apologize for the confusion I had caused her unintentionally, but she was not ready to hear anything I said. And I was persona non grata for the rest of the time I was at work. I remembered a verse my pastor had shared last night (I don’t even remember why he shared it, but I remember thinking “oh, yeah! that verse! I remember that one!”):Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.  I Peter 3:9

But I saw no way to do it, not if any words I said would be brushed away like so many snowflakes. I prayed that I would be able to speak words before I left that would bless her. And then I remembered the verse about praying for those who despitefully use you. So I thought, “I can at least pray a blessing on her.” And I started to do that. [Please don’t take this as me being “holy and always kind” and all of that rot! I was shaking on the inside and a little ready to run and a little angry myself because I was only trying to help! And I felt like hiding in a corner and didn’t even know how to look her in the face anymore–ok, there’s the melodrama in my nature coming out =P] And before I left, she was ready to talk. She was able to tell me how she needs me to communicate with her and why she was so frustrated. I don’t know if she heard my explanation, but it doesn’t really matter. What is really cool is that I had the chance to bless her, to tell her that even if she decides this job is not for her, I’m glad I have gotten to work with her. And I think she heard that. Maybe. But I got my chance.

He’s doing it. He really is. Compassing me about like He said He would.

I’m a little flabbergasted.

*flabbergasted vs. awestruck: flabbergasted is what happens after the awe has struck =)