Monday, April 22, 2013

God Speaks, But Do We Listen?

This is another reflection from my friend Bill. 

God speaks to all of us and if we are willing to listen and obey amazing things will happen.  It is amazing how a simple prayer that I prayed for my mom to have peace was answered.

In early December 991 I was at home with my wife and children when God laid on my heart the need to go and see my mom.  When I told my wife she said, “Then go.”  I packed a few things, made flight arrangements, and flew to Bossier City, LA. 

Upon arrival I went to my sister’s house and then went to see my mom at the nursing home.  What I saw when I got to her room broke my heart.  The door to her room was open and she was sitting in a chair facing the door with no clothes on.  Thank God she did not know who I was or the fact that she was sitting there naked.  After letting the staff know how angry I was because of the lack of care for my mom, I left.

The next day I went back and, to my amazement, she knew me and was excited to see me.  We sat and talked and, at one point, she told me how unhappy she was about having hurt other people.  I asked her if she had ever asked God to forgive her and she said, “I think so.”  She also said she was very sorry for all the bad things she had done to my sister.  I asked her the same question – if she had asked God to forgive her.  She replied, “I think so.”

I said, “Mom, would you like to pray now and ask God for forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into your heart as your Savior?”  She said she would like to.

We prayed together and she asked for forgiveness and she asked Jesus to be her Savior.  We talked a little longer and I left.  The next day when I went to see her she had no idea who I was.

Two weeks after I returned home my sister called to let me know that Mom had passed away.  I hung up the phone and cried while telling my wife.  But then I stopped and told her that I wasn’t sad, that my tears were tears of joy and thankfulness.  You see, God had used me to give my mom the greatest gift of all:  “Eternal Life and Happiness with Her Savior.”

God is speaking; are we listening and obeying?

Comment from Bob: Many of us have relational barriers in our lives, Bill was willing to cross a barrier that many of us would not attempt - I think he could only do this because of prayer, listening, and a willingness to obey in the face of the risk of rejection. If we aren't praying then we won't have answers that we can listen for and commands to obey. Hearing from God is great but it is not enough, we need to obey - Bill had to get on a plane and fly to another state, then when his mom did not at first recognize him he couldn't give up, he had to go back the next day. No doubt seeing his mom and his sister brought back unpleasant memories, but he chose to obey, to reach out to his mom in Christ - we never know what will happen when we continue in prayer and intercession for others - even others who we have a "history" with.

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