Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Josh 1:9 (NKJV)
Henry Kissenger, who was afraid of flying, used to say that he always felt better when Nixon was on the plane. Do you know what makes me feel better? Knowing that I belong to the God of this universe. That I am one of His favored children. That He lives inside of me. When I fly, He flies.
Did you hear about the Baptist pastor who was flying and was asked if he wanted a drink? He said, “No, I am too close to the home office.” Even on an airplane, the presence of God is there and it makes a difference. It makes a difference in our lives too. But we are often too busy to listen. We are hustling too much to know it.
A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening.
Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.”
His friend said, “What? You must be crazy. You couldn’t possible hear a cricket in all of this noise!”
“No, I’m sure of it,” the Native American said, “I heard a cricket.”
The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket.
His friend was utterly amazed. “That’s incredible,” said his friend. “You must have superhuman ears!”
“No, my ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.”
“But that can’t be! I could never hear a cricket in this noise,” said the friend.
“Yes, it’s true. It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you.” He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.
“See what I mean?” asked the Native American. “It all depends on what’s important to you.”
Sometimes people say they can’t connect with God. They say they can’t hear him. Do you suppose that is because God is not talking these days? I don’t believe that. I think God is communicating all the time. Too often I am just not listening.
My son Cole asked me one time when he was about 6 years old how I can tell when God is talking to me. In a rare moment of insight, I said, “Cole, when you see your little brother Clint fall and hurt himself and you go over to him and ask him if he is alright and then help him up, who tells you to do that?” He thought for a moment and then smiled and said, “Oh, that’s Him.”
Learn to say in your life, “Oh, that’s Him.” It’s an awesome power resource for the Christian, but you have to be still to hear and enjoy it. You have to spend time with Him, getting to know His voice. Then you have to listen in order to hear Him.