I was speaking with a friend on the phone today and he asks how I’m doing. I answer with the usual cliches and responses and then I stop. I stop and say “I’m struggling to hear God these days – I have for a while”. And I don’t expect my friend to judge me and tell me I just need to pray about it because Ellis is one of the few people I know that I am totally real with and who never feeds me cliched responses to issues I face. So he listens as I spout verbal vomit and when there’s nothing left I have this realisation that God has actually been quietly ministering and whispering all along.
One of the voices I’ve been listening to recently is that of Rob Bell. Now I know that there are some out there who will judge me just for mentioning his name but that’s okay because God loves you and me and Rob Bell (God’s love is a great leveler of people, don’t you think?).
Bell has awakened within me a desire for a simpler, less orchestrated faith over a demanding ritualistic performance driven faith. I’m enjoying the way he weaves scripture into the colourful fabric of life. I want to look again at the world with child-like wonder and create at the feet of Father God – isn’t that what God made us for? – to go out and multiply the wonders of creation through expressing the gifts, intellect and love he placed within us.
Here’s some ‘classic Bell’ to let you see how he has encouraged me recently:
Another way I realised God has been whispering to me is through a song by Hillsong United. It’s called “Oceans” and the video is at the end of this article. The song is based on the tale of Jesus calling Peter out to walk on storm-ridden waters.
There was a storm.
But Jesus was out there walking on water, calling Peter out.
I realised God was calling me out.
He was working in the stress of my current job insecurity, my hectic family life, recent hurts at the hands of spiritual leaders, and my tiredness as I study a Masters degree.
He was saying “it’s okay. The storm is here, but so am I and I’m simply calling you to trust me as you are on stormy waters. Walk to me and walk with me in these troubled seas. I’m with you and I won’t let you drown”.
God knows what we need when we need it and he walks with us even when the storms crash down upon our troubled heads. He delivers, rescues and restores.
I’m thankful today for Rob Bell, Hillsongs United for a cool song, and my mate Dave for allowing me to be who I am and to vent. Ellis’s website is at Bittorrent Gospel and he is worth following on Twitter at @littlewarrior. How about you? Perhaps the storm is fierce? I can’t promise answers, but somewhere out there Jesus is out on the water calling your name.
May we hear and respond to Jesus’ great love, amazing grace and boundless mercy as we seek to rediscover wonder and walk upon the oceans.