Maybe it is just me, but I feel like we all want a full on sign from God, like Moses and the burning bush, about the direction we should be headed in our lives. I find that God speaks to me in more subtle ways. I find confirmation from scriptures, the words of others, and sometimes signs. It doesn’t mean I still wouldn’t like that burning bush encounter.
That was my thought as I walked through the desert today. My husband had taken me out to a gold claim in the middle of no-where. He walked down into the dry river bank, and I stayed up in the high ground. His instructions were to watch out for snakes. Thank the Lord I didn’t see any!
I had mountain ranges on both sides, and desert brush as far as the eye could see. There was literally nothing around, except a rogue car every now and then and a lone bicyclist. It was so silent, except the noise from my husband shoveling dirt and at times the faint noise of a car driving out on the road we turned off of. I also heard two birds fly over.
As I walked along the dirt trail that we drove in on, I was taking pictures of the mountains and cactus, looking for a road runner or something other to practice my photography on. My attention was drawn to the silence all around me and then down to dried out brush tree.
I thought about how this would have been similar to the terrain that Moses was tending to his sheep. Although he might have had noise from his flock, it still would have been pretty silent. It gave me pause about my desire to have a burning bush experience.
I realize I might be a little taken back if there was a fire in the middle of the desert. I would likely be more taken aback if I heard someone speaking when no one else was around. I would probably be a little more than scared. I probably would not feel that it was the sign I was looking for in my direction for the future. I might not get close enough to hear what was being said or feel sure enough to stick around even if I could.
I realize that God has a way of getting our attention when He needs to, even when we might not be looking for a sign. This past week, I was walking around my new neighborhood. With the pandemic, we have quarantined since we arrived. In the afternoon, I try to take a walk for my health and sanity. I have the ability to throw on a mask if someone is coming near me, but for the most part am alone.
Even before the pandemic, I have a tendency to take in my environment but not really be observant. I know that sounds contradictory, but I am aware for my safety, but unless an alarm goes off inside I would not be able to tell you if the people I just passed were man, woman or child. I will generally say hello or nod, but I don’t really pay attention.
This day I was walking around the block, and was talking on the phone with my daughter and grandchildren. I was also texting a couple friends and looking at the calendar as we were planning a visit. I should have been more distracted. I was walking a different path than I previously took. I started to cross the street and passed a couple with four kids. I immediately recognized them and spoke to them. I didn’t mean to interrupt their family time, but I had tried to reach out online without success.
They were pastors of a church I had found online in my new community. What is the odds in a town of over 16,000 people of our paths crossing over a walk around the neighborhood? The church is across town. They took time to answer my questions and tell me more about their church. Then we went on our separate ways. I couldn’t tell you how many more people I passed, I went back to talking on my phone and finished my walk.
That is how God works, He puts the right people in our path at the right time. He gives a timely word, or uses someone to speak something that they couldn’t possibly know that we need to hear. He is all knowing, He knows what we need. He knows when we need it, even if His timing is not our timing. He knows how we need it, for us to receive it. I have seen Him do it time and time again, and always right on time. He is even willing to interrupt us, if we allow Him, to meet the need.