Hearing God and Seeing Wheelbarrows of Diamonds

A couple of years ago I felt the Lord drawing me away from my normal environment for a short period of separation from the routine of life.  This wasn’t surprising to me, as this has become a custom in my life through the years.  For me, that typically looks like going out of town for a few days.  On this particular occasion I was in Charleston sitting on a bench with my journal overlooking the water, when a man who was walking his dog, started talking to me.  As is my custom, I asked Holy Spirit about this strange, yet interesting, man.  Should I engage in conversation with him?  I felt a quiet “yes” in my spirit.  This man was intrigued and slightly mystified by the fact that I was sitting alone on a bench with a journal seemingly contemplating life’s issues.  This was the impetus for his conversation with me.  Apparently, my behavior appeared to be an anomaly to him, not something he routinely encountered on his walks.  As we began to engage in conversation, I explained that I tried to cultivate a lifestyle of getting out of town to clear my head every once in a while in order to separate myself from the day-to-day routine and gain perspective and insight.  To this day, I could not tell you what that elderly man had done with his life, but I had a very clear sense that it was something very significant.  He spoke to me in poetic language, told me that what we have known as truth, through history, often changes over time and encouraged my continual reading and studying.  He then began to tell me of the “wheelbarrows of diamonds” that he had walked by in his life because he had not stopped to take the time to get away for rest, reflection, and clear decision making.  He had allowed the demands of life to control and dictate his behavior.  He had missed significant opportunities as a result.  What this man did not know was that I had felt Holy Spirit prompting me to get away every three to four months.  I knew that withdrawing would help calm the storm in me and settle the pressures that were, quite literally, taking my breath away.  I knew that frequent withdrawing to hear God’s voice would keep me on the right path. 

Sunday morning arrived and it was time to leave, but I still wasn’t settled in my spirit.  I didn’t feel done, like there was more the Lord was trying to resolve within me, so I decided to go back to the bench by the water.  As I was sitting on the bench, once again overlooking the water, I asked the Lord, “Do you really want me to get away every three to four months?” No sooner did the question come out when I heard a voice coming from another direction saying, “Hey! So, you are here again today?!” Yep, you guessed it! It was the poetic gentleman again.  I had my answer and true to form, the Lord began to use him again to speak more heavenly, poetic language over issues that, unbeknownst to the man, were touching only places God knew were in my heart. 

What I learned from this experience solidified a truth that I had already known deep within: There is nothing more important than making space to hear God’s voice!  It can be tough, when the demands of life are pulling us in a thousand different directions, but I find that it is in those times that it is most crucial that I withdraw to be with the Lord.  I dare say, that the Lord was telling me, “Jennifer, I have such valuable treasures for you, but in order for you to see them I need for you to commune with me, alone, in a sacred place, past the noise of life. ”  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to walk by my wheelbarrows of diamonds. I pray you don’t either.