Stop for a moment and pay attention to all that is happening around you. If you are reading this right now, you are probably sitting at your computer at home with the television on in the background. Maybe you are checking it out on your smartphone while waiting to pick up a to-go order at a local restaurant. There may not seem to be much going on around you at the moment, but what if you knew that God was trying to communicate with you? How much more closely would you pay attention? The truth is, God does want to speak to you and He can do so in a grand fashion or in a quiet moment. The catch is, we have to be paying attention.
There was a time when God chose to speak to His people with a voice from Heaven. He would give clear, audible direction to those that needed to hear from Him. God is certainly still capable of that and I’m sure it still happens (if He has come to you as a burning bush lately, I’d love to hear about it!). We are kidding ourselves, though, if we think this is the only way God speaks to us. He can be that still, small voice in your head, cause events to unfold in a way that only He could, or use someone else to communicate a message that could only be from Him, even when the person delivering the message doesn’t realize it.
A good example of hearing from God through another person happened to me recently.
I had just gone through a difficult week (to put it mildly) and was wondering about the direction my life was about to take. I had told God during this time that I was ready for His best — ready and willing for whatever He had in store for me. Church had just finished and I was getting ready to leave. I play guitar in the worship band at my church and was ready to just get home and take a nap since I had been there since 7:30 a.m. Suddenly, a woman I respect at the church a great deal came up to me as I was literally on my way out the door. I won’t go into details about what was said, but she knew nothing of the situation I had just went through, nor did she know that I was needing to be uplifted. I knew that the timing of what she had to say to me was more than coincidence.
Those who have been Christians long enough have likely had a fellow Christian approach them with a message that they feel God laid on their heart. Moments like that certainly have their place and often times I believe they truly are from God. However, there is something about a moment that you know is from God where everything isn’t spelled out in a nice, neat way. Even though this woman of God didn’t tell me God had told her to come to me, I was still able to recognize His hand moving in my life without missing it. I was able to have this recognition, I believe, because I had been praying and staying connected with Him.
In his book, “When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence,” author Squire Rushnell makes a strong argument that there is no such thing as coincidence, only signposts that God uses to direct and confirm our paths. These ‘God winks,’ Rushnell explains, can be reassuring, stop us from worrying, help us chart the course of our lives and reaffirm our faith. Rushnell finds comfort in these personalized messages from God because they reveal that He knows us and knows our every need.
As believers, we should all be comforted by this fact. If each of us looks back over our lives, I’m sure we can all find at least one example of God giving us a wink. Also, now that we know to be looking out for these moments, we can find ourselves more closely connected to the plan God has for us.
What are some examples of ‘God winks’ in your life? We will always have The Holy Bible as God's final word on everything, but life is a free flowing, ever changing thing. It is good to know that He is right there, actively participating with us.