A few weeks ago, I heard from God. It happened during our week learning about listening to God and finding Him in the still, small whispers of life. The focal point of the week was an almost 10-hour silent day, something that proved to be quite the challenge for our chatty, social group. I hate to admit it, but I was really skeptical going into it. A full day of listening to God? Would He really speak? If I heard something would it just be me trying to compensate and make myself feel more “religious?”
Despite my doubts, the day arrived. I went down to the docks to listen to the quiet sound of the rain falling on the lake. I quickly became aware of how scared I was to try to pick out God’s soft voice amongst the clamor of my own mind. I began to pray and ask God to make whatever he wanted to say as loud as possible—I wanted a fog horn in my ear. I also asked God to guide me for the upcoming year, as I don’t really know what my next chapter of life holds—hold my hand and guide me.
After leaving the docks, the thought of reading my Bible came to mind. In the back of my Bible there are different recommendations for verses during different times throughout life. One section was titled, “verses for when I am seeking God’s guidance.” The verse that stood out to me was Isaiah 42:5-9: “This is what God the Lord says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: ‘I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.’” As soon as I read, “I will take hold of your hand,” everything stopped. It felt obvious that this was God’s voice speaking to me, but God was not done there. Throughout the rest of the day, although we were not to try to communicate with or touch each other, people would randomly reach out and grab my hand for no reason. This happened multiple times! After this day, I knew this to be true: that God does still speak and He does answer our prayers, taking our hand and guiding us through the twists and turns of life.
Although I am still not sure what next year holds, I will walk forward in faith, not knowing where I am going but knowing the One who is holding my hand the entire way. God has an amazing plan for me, something full of life and joy. I only need to accept the invitation to take His hand and follow.
– Maddie Neufeld, South Africa student, 2017-18