Being that it is rather warm in Augusta this time of year, we need to get outside and that means swimming. Now, we do have quite a hillbilly heaven in my backyard. We've got a "real nice" (you say that with an accent) blue plastic pool from the Wal-Mart (you also have to preface Wal-Mart with "the" I'm not sure why) and we have a big time! Seriously, you have to have water available if you are going to spend much time outdoors. That's if we stay home. Now, I have great friends that invite us to swim with them throughout the summer. That thrills my heart that people would enjoy my company, and the company of my 3 small children and have us enjoy their pools. Today we enjoyed a pool.
I have the privilege of calling Dana my friend. Today we were invited to celebrate Canada Day with several people, including some Canadians! I tell you that because the walk to her pool stopped my spirit in its tracks.
I had finally gotten everyone in the van and happy. We had the bag packed, our suits on, and we were set for a great day in the pool. Some day I'll say "by the pool" when I'm just sitting in a chair sipping a chilled beverage, but for now I'm in the pool WATCHING everything my children are doing. "Mom, WATCH THIS! Hey Mom, WATCH ME!" Julia knew that one of her favorite little friends would be there so she practically jumped out of the van. Of course I'm left with the donkey role. I double as a pack mule, I'm telling ya!
We all enter by the back gate, the kids know exactly where to go. Julia was first. Anson was close on her heels, and Ella and I were bringing up the rear, of course. The kids cannot open the gate, so Julia was standing there, listening to all of the action going on in the backyard. She turned and shouted back at me, "Mom, I hear Jordan! Jordan is in there. I can't see her, but I can hear her voice, I know she's here!"
I've struggled with the Lord lately. I'm sure that there are several reasons and I know I'm normal, but I've struggled. I know He's good and I know that He loves me, but I'm in process. That's why my blog has been a bit slow, I write best when I'm walking with God. It's His gift, not mine. That, He has made abundantly clear. In any event, I heard this comment by Julia in my spirit. "I can't see Him, but I know His voice. I know He's here."
We can't see God, but we can see evidence all around us that points to His existence, but as far as seeing Him...we missed Jesus...God in the flesh. Although Jesus does say to poor doubting Thomas, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." I think that's me. Blessed to believe even though my eyes have not see His face. It's hard isn't it? To press on. To just keep on keeping on? You know what keeps us keeping on? Knowing His voice. Julia couldn't see Jordan, but because she has spent time with her, she knew her voice, she knew she was there.
My name is actually Alison. I'm sure that if you didn't know that, you probably assumed. There are certain people that I love to hear say my name. It always evokes a different emotion. When my husband says my whole name it communicates a gentle and sweet love for me. When my Mom says my name I usually respond quickly and without question. When my friends call me "Alison" I relax because I know these are people that have known me for a long time. You see, Ali has just recently become my name over the last 8 years or so. My principal asked me what I'd like to go by and I said, "either." Guess what it was? Ali.
There is something beautiful about hearing your name. God knows our name. God knows YOUR name. Do you know how I know that? Sing it with me, "The Bible tells me so." Look with me, if you will, at John 10:3, "The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." Does that feel good to you? It does me. God formed me in my mother's womb, He knows me. This verse says He not only knows me, but for those that belong to Him, He calls them by name and the sheep listen to His voice. That, my friends, is how we know He is near. Even when we can't see Him. We can hear His voice. That sounds easy enough, doesn't it? I don't know about you, but my life is LOUD!!! This world seems to be at a constant SHOUT while God's voice seems to be a whisper. Good thing He calls us by name. Nothing, I mean NOTHING will get your attention faster than someone familiar saying your name. I have friends that still call me AliPyle (that's all one word). That gets my attention. My children know to look my way when their name comes out of my mouth. Why is that? It's all about relationship.
If I will commit my time to meeting with God I will know Him better. His voice will become louder than this world because I will be more attuned to the voice of my Father than the voice of this world. It was just precious to me. "I can hear her, I know she's here." She was so excited!
How about you? Are you so excited at just the sound of His voice? Do you know His voice? Are you aware of that still small voice that whispers to your heart and begs you to follow? I am, and I'm tired of being irritated with the only One that loves me perfectly. I desire excitement, passion, and joy. I know when I've heard His voice, and I know He's here. That is exciting!