It was 2012, and I was back in the dry sun and heat of Bakersfield, California after spending two weeks in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is a summer tradition for me and my family. Typically, this ritual includes at least a week backpacking with one or more of my daughters, and lately, Susan, too. Fifty plus miles, five plus days…most of it spent in the 9,000 and 10,000-foot altitude range.
For me, these trips are always times in which I tend to hear God’s voice deeply. As John Muir once put it…
“I stepped out for a walk but kept going…because…I found that I was in fact going in…”
This year? Nothing dramatic, just a deep sense of remaining solid and steady and “being”…much like the mountains and granite and forests and meadows through which we passed each day: these mighty and piercingly beautiful expressions of our Creator God’s amazing and diverse Talents and Artistry simply “are”, right there, day in and day out, regardless of whether anyone (like my daughters and I) come wandering by or not to see them at all. They just are, beautiful, stunning, solid, steady. As David said in Psalm 19 “day to day pours forth speech…”
But I wanted to hear Him!
Hearing God’s voice…
Last spring when Global Teams fulfilled a large matching campaign, we set aside reserves for the summer to cover our usual summer slows, and we reserved a separate amount that we plan to end our year with to avoid the other regular slows we experience annually.
My hope had been that we would not need them and that we could then use those summer reserves this October as a next disbursement to the field…as I prayed I felt that we were not to do any fundraising efforts towards that end. Just do what we felt God called us to do, and trust Him for the provision for whatever came next.
Confession: I have worried over the summer about this, and whether I was hearing right. The human and “responsible” thing seemed to be to fundraise for the organization.
So, I want to hear Him!
In the high mountains this came up again in my mind: “Kevin you are headed back…you will probably find things tight financially…why didn’t you do some fundraising this summer?” That nagging voice did not respond well to my counter argument, “Because He said not to!” Instead, I got a fierce, “How do you know that was Him?”
I want to hear Him!
Then, while I was preparing to lead a wedding ceremony shortly after that trip, I meditated on the passage that the bride and groom had selected, from Colossians 3: “Let the peace of Christ rule…”
The word was not “Be at peace…” It was not “Be peaceful.” It was not even, “Calm down”, much less, “take a chill…”
Just “Let the peace of Christ…”
Allow it. Welcome it. Receive it, and say yes to it, give it room and space in your life. The peace of Christ already exists, He has already given it and paid for it and created and honed and crafted and smoothed it…”just let it be there, in you, Kevin,” I told myself.
I want to hear Him.
So, I said, “I hear You…and yes, thank you….I receive Your peace.” And, to my amazement (why?), I did. And it came. Like that.
For us all…
So, I hope that you have been able to go to whatever place either physically or emotionally where you can experience His reality and closeness, that you are able to say no and find in that “no” maybe a new or deeper yes…and above all that you are hearing The Voice and letting His peace enter deeply…
I want to hear Him.
-Kevin Higgins, Global Teams International Director