oh how I need you

God speaks to me through music.  It’s not the only way he speaks to me, but it’s definitely a one of the main ways.  And even as I type this, it seems weird.  It’s always been hard to share what I mean, to put into words this feeling deep in my heart.  But here’s to taking a shot at it.
There are moments, when I’m driving, walking, hanging out – when a song seems to reach out and grab my heart and squeeze.  It’s a literally feeling in my chest that screams Listen to me.  It’s usually when I’m deep in my own thoughts, thinking about this thing, that situation or those decisions that happen in my life.  Staring off as music plays in the background, then suddenly it’s no longer in the background – it’s jumping up and down in front of my eyes telling me to pay attention.
It happened as I was driving home from Boulder one day towards the end of college.  I had been given a choice, move to MI with no guarantee of more than a summer job or start over and find something new.  The song was “Bold Son” by Aaron Espe.  It was a clear message from God – telling me to leap and that He would catch me.  So I leapt and what came after was an internship where I was given the space and the time to heal from my past and step into leadership in a safe place.  An invaluable experience that led to another invaluable experience.
It happened as I was driving to church before my call process, worried about making the right choice.  Praying to God that he would make it abundantly clear, like flashing sign pointing at a map clear.  The song was “I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons.  The message was to wait, to stay faithful in that time but to wait.  The position that I was dreaming of, the church that would be a right fit for me – it was out there, but I needed to wait.  That one took a full two and a half years to come into focus.  But it did eventually, and it was beautiful.  (And no, there was no flashing sign)
It happened last week.  As I was driving in a car with my friends through the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  This one is still not in focus.  All I can tell is that the music was Andrew Belle but I’ve been looking for the song and it’s not there.  The lyric I thought I heard is not on that album – which can only mean it was actually just Jesus telling me what to do. (Which is insanely humbling)  But I don’t know what it means.  I don’t know where it’s going to lead, but it gave me extreme comfort that he sees the situation, and he’s got it.
And it happened just now.  As I was staring off in space, attempting to write a sermon for Sunday.  The song was “Called Me Higher” by All Sons & Daughters.  Reminding me that while yes, I could just sit in the glory of knowing him – but that he has called me higher, he has called me to be a truth teller, a fighter, a communicator, a storyteller and a story listener.  He’s called me higher than I can imagine.  Not towards status in the world’s sense but towards grace in the Kingdom’s sense.
God can use the most unexpected moments, the most unexpected vessels to talk to us.  We see his goodness all around us in nature, in the bible, in others, but when we are seeking answers, seeking encouragement, seeking his direction sometimes we just need to listen to that tug.  To be attentive to the ways he is communicating with us when we least expect it.
So in what ways do you hear from God?  What are the vehicles he uses with you?

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