Earlier today on my weekly “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” segment on EWTN Radio’s Son Rise Morning Show, I discussed a powerful Bible verse. What I love about this verse is that it’s very simple, but contains an incredibly important message:
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Don’t make the mistake of dismissing the Lord’s words as fluff or just something addressed to a particular person in a specific situation thousands of years ago. These words are addressed to you! God is assuring you that if you ask Him a question, you will receive an answer. Every day I’m faced with a series of decisions that I have to make. Some are trivial, but some are important – especially in God’s eyes. How do I know what He wants me to do? These words are proof that if I ask for help, He will respond. But what about those times when He seems to be silent? You know as well as I do that there are times when the Lord doesn’t seem to respond to our cries for help. Is He really ignoring us or are we not listening?
The prophet Jeremiah did not have it easy. In fact, when the Lord spoke the above words to Jeremiah, he was sitting in prison! King Zedekiah didn’t like one of the prophet’s previous messages (given to him directly by the Lord) and decided to throw him in jail. While that appears to be a nasty outcome for Jeremiah, it actually made it easier for him to hear God speak. When you’re in jail, you have a lot more time to hear the Lord’s voice and you’re anxious to do so! What’s the lesson for us? If you want to hear God speak to you, make sure you spend time listening. As Fr. Larry Richard’s so “eloquently” puts it, “Shut up and listen!” We’re never going to hear the Lord speak unless we give Him a chance.
While there’s much more that I can say about this topic (and I will soon…see below), here’s the message we can take away from the Lord’s words to Jeremiah (and to us):
1. If you want to know what God wants you to do in a given situation, ask Him. He will answer!
2. Give Him a chance to respond by spending time in silent prayer (in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, if possible).
3. If you don’t hear anything, be patient. He may not want you to do anything right now.
4. Keep asking Him for direction. The Lord likes us to stay in contact with Him and often helps us to remain engaged.
5. If God wants you to do something, He will eventually let you know what it is. Don’t get frustrated. As much as it drives us crazy, “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)
I’ll have much more advice about this topic in my new book Faith, Hope and Clarity: How To Know God’s Will (coming in May, 2015). Click HERE for more information or to pre-order.