When God is Shouting at You

It has been great hearing back from many of you now that we’ve gone live with the Serendipity Journal.  Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement.  Please let me encourage you to leave your thoughts and comments in the Leave a Reply boxes below each post.

I heard some bad news in an e-mail from my good friend Suzy in North Carolina: her husband Alan has prostate cancer.  Extensive testing has shown that the cancer is thankfully confined to his prostate at this time.  They’re currently waiting on Chapel Hill to schedule the date of his surgery.  Thanks for keeping them in your prayers.

My father is a prostate cancer survivor.  He just celebrated his 5 year anniversary of being cancer free.  I found the story of how he decided on the best course of treatment for his cancer to be truly inspirational, and I shared it with Suzy in my e-mail response.  Here’s what I wrote:

My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2002.  He did a bunch of research on the best way to treat it, surgery or radiation.  Both methods had their drawbacks.  After a very thorough investigation, he decided to rest from thinking about it over the weekend, then make a final decision the following Monday.  

On Monday, he arrived in his office and began a final review of his two treatment options.  Almost immediately, the phone rang with a friend on the line who had just learned of Dad’s cancer.  “Have you heard about the treatment program at Sloan-Kettering in Manhattan?”  This friend told him about the advanced radiation technique they had developed that used a much finer-focused beam to pinpoint the cancer.  “You should check them out before you make a decision,” his friend insisted.   Dad thanked him, but hung up the phone convinced that his best option lay in one of the two processes he had already researched. 

But within 5 minutes, another friend called to tell him about that same hospital, and within the hour a third friend called with the same advice.  Dad decided to put his decision on hold and check out Sloan-Kettering.  Once he checked them out, he realized that their treatment program was superior to everything else that he had investigated.  They successfully treated him, and he has remained cancer-free ever since.

During his treatment, my father confided to me that he felt that he had been led to that hospital; that God had spoken to him through his friends. God has many different ways that he communicates with us. It may be a feeling or an intuition; a new way of thinking during a prayer; or an inspiration during a quiet moment. He may send you a song on the radio that answers a question that you’re pondering, or reveal a new truth to you through scripture. Or sometimes, when he really wants to get your attention, he may have three different people give you the same message.

I’m finding that He’s guiding and encouraging me on an almost daily basis (I wonder, on those days when I don’t receive His communication, is He not speaking or am I just missing it?).  He seems to especially enjoy communicating with me through serendipity – I no longer believe in coincidences…  Best save that for another post later.

How about you?  How is God speaking to you? 

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3 Responses

  1. Dug,

    I’m very pleased to be able to read and respond to your thoughts and musings via this blog. It’s very cool. Congrats, also, on Dad-Mugglin’s continued good prognosis.

    Now per your comments —

    God does, indeed, speak to his children. He speaks in all the many ways that you named (and more), because He loves us and is active in our lives (whether we know it or not), and even if we’re not very active in His. As you pointed out an important key to realizing this is active listening, or in a broader sense being open and watchful. And certainly within the spectrum of ways God can speak to a child who’s not really listening there is “the shout”. Like all Fathers sometimes you just need an attention getter. [Lord knows that I’ve used “the shout” frequently in dealings with my children !]

    For some being diagnosed with cancer can be the 2×4 upside the head to shake-up a life that’s off-track, self-centered, and in mortal danger (of the eternal kind). For others, it’s just a nudge or a shove that’s needed. I believe it’s probably proportional to the depth of the relationship you have with God at the time. If you’re already spending time with God in prayer, or in quite time before Him just listening, He has little need to raise His voice. So I guess that needs to be our goal in prayer — to move beyond the one-sided (and often me-centered) monolog or soliloquy and into a two-sided conversation or exchange.

    If we listen, I’d bet God has a lot of important things to say !

  2. @Tman,
    Thanks for your thoughts and your support.

    By the way, I forgot to mention that my friend Suzy has started her own quilting business. She has a terrific website that displays her work at http://susiescountryquilts.com. My favorite is the Little Fishy. Be sure to check it out.
    Dug

  3. […] don’t need to repeat my beliefs that I wrote about in When God Is Shouting At You.  The bottom-line: I’ve learned from experience to pay attention when I receive the same […]

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