“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2"Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." Jeremiah 18:1-2 NIV
When I am on vacation, I always try to find a spot where I can do my devotions and pray. During a vacation to San Antonio, I found a spot away from the daily tourist traffic on the Riverwalk and for the few days that we were there, that was the place I met with the Lord. One morning, I got up early and went to the place I had discovered. It was during this morning session when God showed me some things about my ministry, family and what we would be doing in the years ahead. It was in that unfamiliar place with new sights, sounds and depending on the river that day, smells, when God gave me a vision that has continued to shine the light on my path as I have served Him in ministry. It has been over 20 years since that vacation and what He spoke to me then, continues to guide, confirm, and encourage.
Jeremiah was a prophet assigned with a very difficult task. We will talk about that more in the next devotion. One day God asks Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house where he would hear what God wanted to say to His people. Jeremiah being a prophet who spoke to the people on behalf of God thought that this was a good idea. I find it interesting that Jeremiah was going to hear from God with the help of what he was about to see. As he was watching the potter work with the vessel, he heard God speak.
This can happen to us too. When we allow God to bring us to unfamiliar places and experiences, it is there where we can hear God speak something that not only benefits us, but those who we live life with. God has things He wants to say to you that you will not always see in the familiar surroundings. When you get out and walk the neighborhood, take a weekend trip to a cabin or maybe just change rooms in the house, God can use that atmosphere and environment to speak what we need to hear.
I find these COVID days a lot like this experience with Jeremiah. Right now, I am at a doctor’s appointment with my wife and as I wait for her in the waiting room, I am surrounded by people, both patients and personnel who have masks on. Everywhere I look are hand sanitizers and chairs with signs that say, “Don’t sit here!”. When I entered the building, I had my temperature taken and asked questions like I was going thru the TSA checkpoint at the airport. And my son just notified me that there is no Big Ten Football this fall. What is this world coming to? We are in a different experience, but I believe God is using this to speak what we need to hear.
Today, in this uncertain time, we can see and hear God in different ways. Most of us experience different routines or at least, abbreviated ones. The experiences we share are new and bring challenges that we did not have before. But in all the changes, we can experience God in ways different than before. We also can see people around us differently. We see the need of peace as many are worried about the virus and their politics. We see how important a warm smile to others can be now that we cannot see each other’s teeth. With the slow down we have learned just how busy and distracted we had become and how it was bringing a negative effect to all. Hearing God’s voice in the slow down for some, have helped make the adjustments needed to get back on mission.
Even without the COVID19 setbacks, it is good to allow God to take us to new places and enjoy new experiences. Every time I travel overseas, I always come back with a fresh revelation from the Lord. The sights, smells and experiences vivify God’s word in my life. I am changed! This is why I encourage people to venture out and explore new places with mission trips and outreaches. (Hopefully we will get to do this again soon.)
As we continue in this season of uncertainty, one thing is certain… God is speaking! Take advantage of the opportunities of change to see something different and in turn hear something from the Lord that changes your life and those around you.