Most of the time, I don't hear God speak. (Oh my, and if that opening line doesn't make you think I'm a crazy person, what will?). Most of the time, as much as I long to hear His voice, as much as I strain, as much as I am still and quiet and wait, I don't hear Him. Which isn't to say He isn't speaking to me, through the feeling in my gut, through a friend, through a circumstance, through seeming coincidence, through my mom's group (thank you sisters). I just don't hear an actual voice.
There have been a handful of times in my life, however, when I've heard the voice of God so clearly it's as if He's standing right beside me. And as much as you'd think that kind of thing would freak a person out, it doesn't; it's like a comforting embrace to hear my Creator's voice.
One of those handful of times happened just a few weeks ago, and I want to tell you about it. Because it's funny. And reminded me of something. And taught me something.
You may remember that I suffer from migraines. If you've never had a migraine, you just don't know how horrible they can be (and mine are mild compared to others I've known). The trouble with my migraines is they won't go away unless I take medication. But if I move enough to get out of bed and go into the bathroom to get my medication, the motion will make me throw up. But not right away. I'll vomit 10-15 minutes after my trip the the bathroom. Ten to fifteen minutes after taking my medication. So I don't know how much of it has been absorbed into my system, so I don't know if I can take more or how much. It truly is a horrible cycle of pain and meds and emesis.
I don't know if it does any good to take some medicine and then throw it up again. And I hate to throw up. Almost more than anything else in the world. So mostly, when I get my migraines, I lie in bed hoping and praying for the pain to be miraculously removed from my body, until I just can't stand it anymore.
God is big, my friends. He could totally do it. And He totally cares about my pain. This is true. So it's not as ridiculous or hopeless as it may seem, to pray that God would work a miracle in my body and relieve my pain.
A couple of weeks ago, that's where I was, lying in bed at 4 in the morning, having awoken with a migraine 30 minutes earlier, with my eyes squinched shut, my fingers pressing into my temples, praying desperately that God would take the pain from me.
And in that moment, I heard His voice, just as plain as could be, saying, "honey, honestly, get up and take some Tylenol."
I was a little taken aback. I mean, wouldn't you be if God said that to you? (Well, I guess one might be taken aback if God said anything to them audibly.)
That's not exactly what I was asking for, God. I mean, I'm glad you're listening and all, but Tylenol? It hurts to move. That's why I want you to do it for me.
And then I started to chuckle. (Well, not actually out loud, because that would have hurt. Plus? My Hubby already thinks I'm a little loopy.) Because God answers prayers. And sometimes, it is good and right to wait on Him, on his timing, to move on those prayers, but others? We need to just do it. We need to stop hiding behind prayers and wishful thinking, and just. start. moving.
God works in this world, that is true, sometimes in miraculous ways. But most of the time, God is working through ordinary people like me and you to accomplish His purpose: broken, imperfect people who choose to be obedient to His will. And sometimes? God calls us to obedience in taking a part in answering our own prayers.
I got up and took some Tylenol. What else could I do with such clear instructions from I AM? And I didn't throw up. And my headache went away.
Praise be to the One who spoke the world into existence, for caring for me in such a real and tangible way, for choosing to speak to me through my pain. Me.