I recently had a fun email dialogue with a friend about a writing project and I was asking for her help with this project. In her reply to my request, she asked if I wanted to chat by phone, in person or by Zoom. I chuckled when I read her reply because the COVID stuff has helped me get more creative on ways to communicate. In general, I feel like I’m relatively creative with communication because of doing lots of international travel such that I’m good at texting, wifi, international cell phone coverage, etc.
All of these communication methods cause me to think about the variety of ways that God communicates with us. For example, I’ve been reading about Jacob in Genesis and how he worked for his uncle, Laban, for 20 years. At the end of 20 years, Jacob had a dream where God spoke to him and told him to move back to his homeland. After the dream, Jacob talked about the idea of moving with his wives (Laban’s daughters) and they were strongly supportive of moving away from Laban. Furthermore, Laban’s sons weren’t too happy with Jacob because of his prosperity at their expense. So not only did God speak to Jacob in a dream, but there were several confirming external situations to confirm and validate God’s words to Jacob in the dream.
I bring this to your attention because I’m firmly convinced that God speaks to us in lots of different ways. In Job 33:14-16 it says, “Indeed God speaks once, Or twice, yet no one notices it. In a dream, a vision of the night, When sound sleep falls on men, while they slumber in their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction.”
When I take an inventory of the variety of ways that God has spoken to me, I can recognize God’s communication with me through:
- Conversations with a friend
- The Bible
- A sermon, podcast, YouTube series, TV show, etc
- A social media post
- Echoes I hear or see (repetition) in daily living
- Lyrics in a song
- A quiet “thought”
- A text message from a friend
- Seeing a sunrise / sunset
- Watching something in nature – light reflecting off tree leaves, birds looking after their chicks, a puppy’s jubilant energy.
And there are many other ways that I can sense God communicating with me. So, given the verses in Job — that God is speaking although we don’t always notice it — I’d like to suggest that we pray to expand our awareness of God communicating with us. Along this line, let’s recognize that we likely have some more comfortable or familiar ways that God speaks with us, but let’s grow more flexible and appreciate that God can communicate in a wide array of contexts, methods, platforms, experiences, etc.