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When Elijah was fleeing from Jezebel, the Lord appeared to him followed by a powerful wind that tore down mountains and shattered rocks. Then there was an earthquake, then a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in any of these. “And after fire came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:12

Our Wednesday morning Men’s Bible study has been going through Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson. How indeed? Batterson talks about how God usually whispers to us in soft, subtle ways. God speaks to us through Scripture, by desires and emotions, by opening and closing doors, by dreams or daydreams, by people, by promptings or nudges, and finally, by pain. It made me wonder about how God might be whispering to me and what He might be saying.

I truly enjoy the Men’s Bible study. They are a great group of guys, many of whom have been meeting together for years. They love to share, eat, pray, and study the Bible. Carol and I spend several winter months in Palm Springs. When there, I connect with the Men’s Bible Study using Zoom. It works and I appreciate being included, but it just isn’t the same as being there in person.

So, a few months ago I was nudged. I wonder what it would cost to fly up to Seattle for the day and be in the Bible study? Now my desires were being prompted. I wanted to go and now it was a matter of counting the cost. Bottomline: I decided to fly up in February and March. I was very excited.

On the first trip in February, my flight arrived very late on Tuesday night. I found it would be cheaper to rent a small car for a day rather than pay for an Uber. Arriving around 11:30 at night, I went to the Budget counter. “Yes, Mr. Witty. We have your reservation here. Unfortunately, all we have available is a 16 passenger van.” What? You’ve got to be kidding! I didn’t know it at the time, but God had left a door open for me. Going down the escalator in the rental garage, I could see that none of the other companies had cars either. All I saw on every level were white, 16 passenger vans. Dozens of them. God opened a door that would take me home. While it was not my first choice, it got me where I needed to go, and was better than having nothing. And they could easily have been out of vehicles entirely. I enjoyed the fellowship of the group the next day and felt satisfied with my trip.

In March, I flew back to Seattle again. This time I got in a little earlier and got a car. But it was still after 10:00pm and I hadn’t counted on evening road work. Parts of WA518 and I-405 were closed. I had to drive halfway through Renton before I had access to I-405. Then the onramp to I-90 East was closed and I had to drive west onto Mercer Island, make a U-turn and head east on I-90. Doors were opening and closing left and right. But I did make it home even if it was an hour later than anticipated. And I was happy for that.

Earlier that week, I was looking at my airline ticket. I was nudged again. My return flight to Palm Springs was early afternoon. Why not change it to a later flight so that I’m not so rushed? Good idea. Not long after that I got a call from my stepdaughter. Their sump pump wasn’t working. Hmm. Good thing I have a later flight. Now I have time to look at it. Also, with the later flight, I had the extra time after the Bible study to meet with more friends from church and catch up. More open doors. I ran into JD Watson at Home Depot while I was looking for a new sump pump. That was fun! I was able to find an exact replacement and switched out the sump pump in 30 minutes! That gave me time to meet with another friend from church. He had never been to Starbucks and never had a latte! Another door opening (the Gospel according to Starbucks).

I went home with a rich feeling of satisfaction and contentment. God had spoken to me through my brothers in the faith, through Scripture, through nudging and, via detours and road work, a little pain. It was almost as though God took over the itinerary of the day to fill me up spiritually with my brothers and friends. Matt. 19:29

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