Updated: Dec 30, 2020
The boys got home late last night, and Mum was really cross with Uncle Matt. Jack wouldn’t tell me what they had been up to, but both the boys slept in late this morning and had to come to Kid’s Church in their pyjamas.
Alison asked if we had written in our notebooks and asked if anyone would like to share. Mia had written something everyday, and that made me feel bad, because I had only written 3 times. Alison said that we are all on a journey and we shouldn’t compare ourselves. That is such a grown-up thing to say. I definitely want to try harder this week.
Jack really surprised me. He said that he had written in his notebook twice, and read what he had written the second time. The verse was “Listen to God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Jack wrote, ‘I don’t know how to listen for God’s voice. I don’t know what it sounds like. I think maybe God is too busy to talk to me, or I am too busy to listen. But I really want to. I really want to listen to God’s voice all the time.’
Alison nodded thoughtfully. Then asked us to think about some questions.
‘Do you expect to hear God like thunder from heaven? Or like the voice of a real person? What kind of things are you expecting to hear from God?’
We all had different ideas at first, but I think we all agreed that we are not waiting for a big booming voice, just maybe something that sounds like our own thoughts. Alison says sometimes, when God speaks to her, it’s a thought that makes her heart race a little faster. I know what that feels like from our time with our friend Jamie. Also she explained that the things He says will often be from the Bible, which is why it is important to read the Bible. If we don’t read it, God can’t remind us of the things He had written there. I asked Alison if that’s why we call the Bible ‘The Word of God’. She nodded.
Alison asked Jack what he had written for the first verse. “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure everything out on your own.” Jack read out what he had written. ‘I’m not going to try to figure out everything with COVID. I don’t know when I will be able to play football again or visit my best friend's house. But I will trust God, that He knows everything and He will sort all this out!’
Alison clapped her hands. ‘Jack, that was God speaking to you. God doesn’t want you to worry about COVID and football and your friends. God was telling you, through the verses, that He is able to handle it. Just as you wrote down.’
‘But that was just my thoughts. It wasn’t God’s thoughts.’
‘No, Jack. That was definitely God’s thoughts. It’s much easier for us to worry about things than it is to trust God. God was giving you examples so you could understand and learn to trust Him.’
Wow, that was so much easier than I thought listening to God would be.
‘That’s why we write it down. Sometimes it’s only when we read it back, we can see that God is talking to us.’
Alison said that she wanted us to continue reading the verses and writing in our notebooks this week, but this time we were to read them out loud.
‘Why out loud?’ asked Mia. ‘I thought God can hear our thoughts.’
‘He can,’ Alison answered. ‘But you aren’t saying it out loud so God can hear, you are saying it out loud so YOU can hear.’
‘Why is that important? I can hear the words in my head,’ Jack had a puzzled sensible look on his face.
‘Yes, you can,’ agreed Alison. ‘But there is a verse in the Bible that says “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Our faith and understanding of who God is comes by actually hearing, not just reading, the Word of God. We are starting to hear God’s voice and writing down our thoughts and ideas, now we are going to step up a gear. How about we do an experiment this week? How about we all agree to read our Bible verses out loud, and see if that helps us.’
‘How will it help us?’ asked Jack’s friend, Noah. He didn’t look convinced.
‘I’m not sure – that’s part of the experiment,’ Alison’s explanation didn’t sound too promising. ‘But if faith comes through hearing, then we should find it easier to believe God, we might find that the verses in the Bible come alive more to us, that they are easier to remember and think about in our lives.’
I didn’t feel too convinced, and looking at the faces on the screen, no one else was overly enthusiastic.
‘Why don’t we give it a try?’ I suggested, not wanting to hurt Alison’s feelings. ‘It can’t hurt, can it?’
‘OK,’ Mia agreed with me, and Alison prayed for us all that God would continue to speak to us through his Word.
I'm going to get up early tomorrow and read my verses out loud.