Does God speak to us? Yes, of course! How do we know, if he does? Well, that is the real question, isn’t it? As Christians, we are told to develop a relationship with Christ, but how can we relate to God? Christ declared, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). We know when God speaks to us because He speaks truth, love and goodness. That is how we recognize His voice.


There are many ways we can communicate with God. The obvious way is through prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God, just as you would talk to a good friend, except He knows everything about you. He knows your needs. He knows what is good for you and what is not. He knows what to do to lead you closer to Him. He knows your doubts, your worries, and your deepest and darkest secrets. We are all familiar with prayer, but how do we listen to God? How do we take that next step? The Holy Spirit within us facilitates our ability to hear God. Let me relay to you a couple of my recent experiences as examples.


I fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, so I can take communion on Sundays. On Friday I opened my freezer to decide what to eat. The hotdogs, my favorites, looked very appealing, and I thought to myself, I will not be able to go to church this week, so I will have a couple of hotdogs! But, as soon as that thought entered my mind, the hotdogs no longer seemed appetizing, so I had fish instead. It turned out that I was able to go to church, after all, and was therefore able to have communion. Was that a coincidence? In addition, on Sunday morning I found myself getting ready for church, realizing that I had forgotten my contacts at my mom’s house. I am very self-conscious about going out wearing my glasses. I have always hated wearing glasses. It is my vanity, one of my weaknesses! For a moment, I thought to myself that I can’t go to church without my contacts! Then I realized that it was my vanity speaking to me and I laughed to myself. God arranged it so that I would have to overcome my self-consciousness and go to church in my glasses. Was this a coincidence? Such a seemingly little insignificant thing, yet I knew what God was saying to me.  


On Saturday, I had a very antagonizing experience with my cell provider, which will remain unnamed. A couple of months ago, I had purchased a phone for my mother. The salesperson told me he would try to make me a great deal. He would give me a tablet and a few accessories for free. I asked him what the catch was. He said there was no catch. He threw the tablet in my bag with my new phone, and then threw in a couple more items, telling me everything was free. He had me sign a contract on his tablet, which only allowed me to see the signature line. Stupid me! I was not given a receipt or a copy of my contract. My cell phone provider did not mail me a bill for the next month, since I signed up for autopay, but finally sent me a bill the following month! Now, it turns out that I am paying $20/month for unlimited data on my tablet, which I do not use, and $9/month for the accessories on an installment plan. The only accessory I used was the car charger, and I finally used that last week. I didn’t need any of this free stuff! In addition, the signature on the contract for the accessories was copied and pasted into that contract, so I never actually signed it. I knew the old adage, “nothing is ever really free,” but I trusted that a company employee would not flat out lie to me! Silly me!


So, Saturday I went to my cell provider’s store to remedy the situation. I was not appeased. I called the company and was again mislead and lied to, compounding the situation. I spent five hours trying to resolve the issue on that day, I came away dissatisfied and no solution. I resolved to return to the store and give them a piece of my mind, which was already frazzled. I had planned to tell them a thing or two about their company practices, about integrity and honesty. But before I did, I decided to check my account on the internet. While I was checking the contracts I had supposedly signed, the power in my house went out. Was that a coincidence? I took that as a message that God did not want me to go to the store and vent my frustrations in anger. As I stopped to think how I should behave as a Christian, it came to me that I should forgive them. Yes, that’s right! Forgive!


So…I will pay $250 for the free items I do not use, just to get out of that contract and look for another cell provider. I cannot deal with a company that apparently encourages such misleading and blatantly dishonest business dealings. Most likely, many other companies do the same thing, but what choice do I have. I must, at least, try to find another company and hope that they will have more integrity. Should I mistrust everyone because of this? No! I will still believe the best in people. Soon after all this, I did finally sign up with another cell provider after spending a week trying to get my phones unlocked by the previous provider! I never knew that they could hold your fully paid phones as hostage! So far, all is well. My phone works well, I have not had any dropped calls and people can hear me when I speak to them.


Was God speaking to me? Of course, He was! There are no coincidences, only unexpected events orchestrated by God, events that are meant to get our attention, to change our way of thinking, and to make God’s will known to us. There are no coincidences, only events which increase our faith and bring us closer to God. Has anything unexpected happened to you lately?  


Tina Liaos March 22, 2018 @11:24 pm

Wonderful food for thought, Helen. Thank you. Oh! And I ordered your book last Sunday and should have it any day now. Can't wait to get started reading it.

FR. Gary March 21, 2018 @04:50 pm

Thank you. Prayer is our topic tonight! Great timing!

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