BY JOYCE PELLETIER
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
The Sermon on the Mount is one of my favorite places to visit in God’s Word.
I know when I need to knock. The question is to ask the Lord where to turn. On that lofty mountain where Jesus chose to
teach His followers, it becomes the classroom on the Mountain. It is a place where there aren’t any microphones present, just the voice of Jesus. The one who listens, hears His voice clearly and pays attention.
It’s a place where God speaks to my heart in simplistic, easy, understandable language. When our school teachers used to take us outside for class, we were suddenly more alert.
I recently started a new devotional. I’ve been looking for one for some time. I decided to give this one a try. It’s a devotional for women with prompts and prayers to reflect on finding our way to connect with God.
The first part prompted me to write about where I talk to God. Where do I envision His presence? The first thing that came to mind was a park bench. I happen to have one in my back yard. I sit on it often and find a certain comfort there. It’s in a place where I can visit with my almost three-year old neighbor. Her and I have become good friends. Her gentle presence reminds me to take time to listen. She has a soft voice and I’ve recently became somewhat hard of hearing, so I make a better effort to hear her.
Whether I walk alone, sit on the bench or on my bed, I envision God next to me. Somehow a park bench reminds me that friends meet there. I have a good friend that meets me at Bayside Park once a year and we talk for a couple of hours. We never run out of words to share with one another. It’s more the same with Jesus. When I talk, He listens. Then I do my best to be a good listener, too.
When I first started my journey with Jesus, I remember reading in bed one night. The kids were asleep, Maurice was reading next to me. In the quiet, I heard, “Joyce, I love you!” It caught my attention as I sat there on the bed, looked at Maurice and he was deep-seated in his book and had not said a word.
I wasn’t seeking God at that moment, but He was seeking me. Deep in my heart, it was my first time I had heard a new voice in the quietness of our home. It reminded me of First Samuel 3:1-21 where Samuel was serving under Eli. He was weary and went to bed. The Lord called out to him. Samuel thought it was Eli, so Samuel ran to Eli saying, “Here I am. You called me.” Samuel had not called him, so Samuel went back to bed. A short while later it happened again. Eli’s response was the same.
A third time it happened, Samuel went to Eli again. It was then that Eli realized that God was calling Samuel. Eli told him to return to bed and told Samuel, “Go and lie down and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening.’
Soon it happened again, so Samuel heeded the words of Eli and followed his directions and God spoke to Samuel and told him what he was going to do.
When I think of this story, and remember that night and hearing the words, “I love you.”, I know that God is with me wherever I go. He wants to use me and you for his purpose.
I do not often hear these words audibly, but the impression on my heart is very noticeable as I am lead to do this or that for the Lord. When I’m on the right path, things flow, therefore He affirms my direction, so I continue to listen more intently. It continues to flow. I know when I make a wrong turn, that clarifies my attention.
Whenever you might hear that voice, whether on a park bench, your living room chair or in the car; remember to listen to that still, quiet voice saying, ‘Speak Lord, I’m listening.’ He’s always ready to talk with you.