Pastor’s Blog April, 2021

Apr 3, 2021 by

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we move from the season of Lent into Eastertide, let us examine another of the many spiritual disciplines within the Christian tradition. Listening to God in our prayer can involve many things. In past articles, we have already discussed how, fundamentally, we listen to God through Scripture, such as when we use a Scripture text as our prayer (“Lection Divina”). Another way of listening to God in our prayer life can be through the everyday circumstances of our lives. God often opens some doors for us and closes others. A conflict in a relationship may invite us to pay closer attention to a part of ourselves that we have not yet fully faced. Sometimes God speaks to us through the wisdom of our bodies, telling us to slow down or change our priorities. Both happy and frustrating circumstances in our lives can be ripe with messages for us. We are able to receive and understand these messages when we engage in patient listening and open ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If guidance is from God, it has our ultimate well-being in mind and leads to our healing or our growth. We can develop the habit of listening to God by asking regularly, “What might God be saying to me in this situation?”1 In listening to our lives for God’s guidance, it can be helpful to distinguish between coincidence and providence. According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a coincidence is “1: the act or condition of coinciding …; 2: the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection ….” Even though there seems to be some connection, a coincidence is accidental. Unlike coincidence, however, God’s providence is intentional and contextual. It occurs within the particular context of our lives and speaks to those particularities. For example, someone may have been praying about a particular issue or struggle. Then, within the context of that prayer, a way is shown to that person that resolves the situation for them in a positive way, beyond what they themselves could have done. In response, his or her heart warms in gratitude. This may well be God’s gracious guidance in response to prayer. Listening to our lives is a powerful way to discern God’s guidance. As we prepare to celebrate the great gift of Easter, may God grant us the grace to listen well to our lives for God’s daily, loving guidance.

Blessings for Eastertide,

Betsy Caudill

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