Outtatown South Africa

February: A Day of Silence

The simple act of laying everything at Jesus’ feet comes with a rich reward. During the first semester, we spent one day in silence at a Bible camp surrounded by the rolling hills of Alberta farmland with the majestic Rockies in the distance. I came into this week with so many doubts plaguing my mind and heart about God speaking to me. God shattered those doubts and removed my fears.

I started my day by watching the sunrise and saw the exact moment that a ray of light touched the snow-capped mountains. I was in awe of the majesty and beauty of creation. As I sat there watching night turn into day, I prayed about my doubts and fears and the barriers that prevented me from being a listener. As I was praying, I felt the vibration of a horse galloping. An Appaloosa from the barn was charging towards an electric fence. It stopped, became frustrated, and trotted away snorting. As this happened again and again, I saw this horse as an image of myself. I put all this effort into running to God, trying to please the Creator. Met by barriers of my own making, I fail to reach God, just as the horse couldn’t get past the fence.

I came into the day of silence very observant of events and divine “coincidences” that were happening around me. I decided to lean into those feelings and convictions and I prayed, “Father, help my unbelief, get rid of my doubt, show yourself to me. Rule and reign in my heart today.” God answered in the most unexpected way.

I fell asleep for the rest of the morning, which made me so angry, yet God knew that I needed rest. God was teaching me to rest, to cease striving, and the two words “be still” took on a whole new meaning for me. I went on a hike in the afternoon and found a field where I danced, worshiped, and sang. I felt like Maria from the Sound of Music! I was running around in complete abandonment, like a child just enjoying her father’s presence. God was with me and I lacked nothing.

Later, my thoughts started to wander and I remembered my grandma who passed away four years ago. She taught me how to play the piano and two of her favorite hymns were “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art”. The reminder of her that day spoke to me.Ten minutes later, our host played both these hymns on his trumpet!

I’m learning to live freely and lightly while I rest in the Lord's arms. Where will this lead? Only God knows, but my ears have been opened and I believe I’m hearing the voice of a loving God who wants a relationship with me.

 Naomi Wiebe, South Africa Student 2016-17