“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 NIV
Very early this morning as I went to the garden, I gained access to the garden of my heart as I sat in my favorite spot on my screened in porch. It was dark and damp. The rain was falling in a simple, steady rhythm. It was a rain that was peaceful and comforting because there was no threat of a storm. It was the necessary rain that God provides for his creation. The air smelled fresh and clean. Slowly the darkness of the pre dawn sky changed from darkness into dawn. The birds began to sing a delightful song to God thanking him for the shower. My back yard looked refreshed as the sunlight hit the lush carpet of green grass and kissed the tree tops of my wooded sanctuary. As I sat there with my coffee, God and I began to chat.
I began to thank God for the rain and for a night of rest. I prayed for my family and for myself. Then God began to speak to me about the importance of teachable moments in the garden. I wondered what God was about to teach me this day in the garden.
Experiencing God’s teachable moments can be a little like doing your homework. I have found that it is important for me to do my spiritual homework now so that I will learn new facts, gain new information, and reflect and receive strength from what I already know to be true. In school homework is done in preparation for the test ahead. Spending time alone with God is so important. It not only gives me strength for the day but it also provides opportunity for God to teach me and prepare me for what he knows is up ahead.
I have found that in my teachable moment maybe only one word will come to my mind. It may be a word like trust, mercy, forgiveness, surrender, wait, simplicity, or grace. When this happens it is like God is giving me the first clue in the mystery that lies ahead. It is in the beginning of a teachable moment in time when God begins preparing my heart for the future. Other times God simply speaks the one word that my heart needs to hear for that day.
At this point I am completely clueless as to what is coming down the pike in my life, but God already knows. Because of his great love for me God goes ahead of me and prepares the way. When I become completely still and silent the teaching begins. It is important for me to pay attention and stay alert. For example, if God whispers the word “trust” to me I must listen for additional messages regarding “trust.”
So from that point on I may hear additional messages coming from everywhere regarding “trust”. I’m a little slow but I eventually begin to get it! The pastor speaks on trust. I turn on the car radio when I am out running errands the lyrics of the song I hear is about trusting God. A good friend calls me on the phone and tells me about an amazing speaker she heard and the things that he had to say about trust. I pick up my favorite devotional book and the theme for the day is – you guessed it, trust! Even when I pick up my Bible and begin to read from a collection of 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and 31,103 verses – who would have guessed the exact verse that I read is about trust. Is that not amazing? God intentionally speaks to us in themes. All we have to do is start listening and learning. When he does this he is without a doubt preparing me for the days ahead. God already knows that in the future there will be a situation that will require me to trust him completely.
So today in the garden, I am sensing a teachable moment is on the way. My mind whirls and I almost feel giddy with excitement. I wonder what word Jesus has for me today. I know that this is his way of teaching me incredible things. I know that no matter if I turn to the right or to the left, my ears will hear a voice behind me saying, “Paula, this is the way, walk in it.”
Are you comforted to know that God goes before you to prepare the way for you according to your need?
In the past have you experienced a teachable moment from God?
Is God whispering a word that keep showing up everywhere you go?
Have you noticed that God is speaking to you in a theme?
What is that theme?
I am amazed that you speak to me in themes. Help me not to be afraid of what lies ahead but rather to trust you because of your great love for me. Help me to view my teachable moments as your protection on my life. I thank you that you are preparing me so that I may respond to the situation, the person or the test that may be in my future. Help me to stay alert to your loving teachings and to be an obedient learner. Help me to respond to your teaching just as you would have me respond.
In Your Name I pray. Amen.