One afternoon when two-year-old Peyton was almost asleep in my arms, the phone rang. When I answered it, Peyton could also hear her mother’s voice. Peyton sat up immediately and reached for the phone. She and Jennifer talked for a minute before Jennifer said, “Go to sleep. Mama will be there when you wake up."
Knowing Jennifer needed to go, I said, “Peyton, give the phone to Nana, please.”
She obeyed, though I sensed she wanted to keep talking. She lay in my arms and listened to me assure her mom that all was well.
As soon as I told Jennifer good-bye and started to put the cordless phone on the sofa cushion beside me, Peyton began to whimper and to reach for the phone.
“Mama’s at school,” I explained. “She had to say bye-bye.”
Peyton’s eyes filled with tears.
“Do you want to hold the phone?”
She drifted off to sleep, holding the phone close to her ear, hoping (expecting?) to hear her mother’s voice once again. Although I knew Peyton was very happy staying with me everyday while her mother taught school, I also understood that there was no voice as sweet or as dear to her as her mother’s. And that’s as it should be! I want her mother to hold first place in her heart.
That experience reminded me of a truth expressed by Henry and Richard Blackaby in their book, When God Speaks. It struck me the moment I read it. It still re-plays often in my mind, for it’s such wonderful advice for those of us who are seeking to hear the voice of the Lord and to obey Him. If there is no clear instruction, Blackaby says, wait until God does speak again.
Just keep doing whatever He told you last. (And don’t feel compelled to always be doing something.) But when God does speak, then do everything He tells you to do. (See p. 72.)
Like Peyton, we can rest peacefully, fully assured that soon we will hear the tender voice of the One who loves us even more than we love Him.
(c) 2011 by Johnnie Ann Burgess Gaskill