This past May the children and I visited my birth country of Romania. I had not been back in twelve years and the kids had not yet met my aging family, as everyone is getting older…The opportunity presented itself and I was excited to go, as I was deeply longing and yearning for old friends and familiar places. However I do not like to fly, especially over the great, big ocean as I am deadly afraid of deep waters and I’m a tad claustrophobic. My husband couldn’t join us because of his work schedule, thus I became completely saturated in anxiety over travelling alone with the kids, incapacitated by the thought of being trapped in a massive hunk of metal for fifteen hours. I increasingly fretted and felt overwhelmed by qualmish worries.
As our departure date approached, I had fallen into the mouth of fear completely, so much so, that I almost cancelled our expensive tickets and my most anticipated trip. If you struggle with fear, you may identify with my emotions, and if you don’t then consider yourself blessed!
We were leaving on a Sunday afternoon, so Saturday night I prayed earnestly to God to help me get on that plane and remove my fear, for I really felt the situation was out of my control. I read 1Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”, and went to bed. On Sunday morning I heard a clear voice outside myself and saw the words in my mind’s eye: “TRUST AND OBEY EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!” I opened my eyes, and realized that God woke me up with these words at exactly six o’clock in the morning. Prior to this, I had never had the blessing and the privilege of hearing from God audibly, but I believe without any doubt that He spoke to me and surprised me with His divine advice when I needed it most. I felt such a jolt of joy and love in my heart…It was indescribably beautiful. Wow, my father in heaven was giving me comfort! I felt instant peace, assurance, and my fear simply vanished. “Trust and obey every step of the way”, God said. Yes, I think I can do that. Still relishing the tangible presence of God, I leaped out of bed in a hurry as if to seize the opportunity while having God’s “attention’, to ask Him advice on other matters in my life. In my dumb-founded, finite brain I actually thought, God had moved on and is not listening to me anymore!! Of course, I didn’t hear him respond to any of my other questions, as if to say “Trust and obey every step of the way” applies to every situation in your life! In any case I felt exalted, assured, loved and looked after. The bible tells us in Joshua 1:9:“I command you, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The plane ride was easy, smooth and swift. We did have a few glitches, as we missed our third plane to Bucharest, but I trusted and obeyed, exhaled often, and felt gratitude.
It turned out that God was not done speaking to me. Amongst my many worries, was the one of my children not getting sick while abroad. But on our second night away, my daughter developed 102 fever, and breathed very heavily. Naturally, I freaked out, but repeated my God given mantra “trust and obey every step of the way”. I felt back asleep and at two o’clock in the morning I woke up singing “Our God is Healer, awesome and power, God you are higher than any other” (Chris Tomlin song). I couldn’t stop singing out loud in the dark, as if God was compelling me to keep worshiping. In the morning my sweet girl had no fever, breathing perfectly, and for the rest of our trip we all stayed completely healthy.
Again, I just knew that God was teaching me to be faithful and trust that He was in control, like He promised me.
I don’t know why God chose this particular time to speak to me in such an intentional and palpable way, since I had experienced other more intense ordeals in my life before, but none the less His sacred advice was most welcomed and most cherished. Isaiah 41:10 resonated with me even deeper now, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” For the first time in my life I actually “felt” that promise.
I think we are all supposed to lead our lives by trusting and obeying every step of our way, having faith and praying in all things for God’s ultimate guidance and management of our lives. That way, we will be sure to attain and maintain an irreplaceable intimacy with God, understanding His will and hopefully have perfect peace. God says in John 14:27, “I am leaving you with a peace of mind and heart. And the peace that I give isn’t like the peace the world gives, so don’t be afraid or troubled.”
I strongly believe that God is speaking to all of us every day, either audibly, or through circumstances, other people, conversations, verses in the bible, a jolt in our hearts, perhaps a nudge in a strong direction. It’s an incomparable sensation when we do hear His voice. It makes us feel safe, protected, comforted, serene, and humbled. I, personally heard the words of “trust and obey every step of the way” from God, and I turn to this precious jewel of wisdom every day, and in every situation, and it has become the rudder that guides me along.
I know that He is here for all of us, willing to manifest His majestic presence if we only turn to Him so: “Don’t worry about anything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he had done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.” Philippians 4:6
Word of the day: HEARKEN