Jesus Beyond Church Walls

How does God speak to you?
Many people don’t know, they never thought about it. How many people go to church every week, check off the “church” ticker on their “to do” lists, and don’t revisit the “God thing” until the next week? Maybe some add a few nightly prayers into the week. Some might even go to the church masses on a daily basis, but never open the Bible outside the church walls. Or never actually have a conversation with God.

Let me ask a question: does God want your attention only when you’re in a designated building, designed for prayer?
I found that answer in my own life to be: no.
He wants my whole life, every day. He wants me to know that He’s there, always and forever, and He wants me to rest, knowing that He’s “got it covered”.
What “covered”?
It’s called Grace and it’s there for everyone who is willing to receive it.

I grew up in the Catholic church. Every week, I went to church because I was supposed to. My parents took me there. I sat in the pews and listened to what sounded like the equivalent of the grown ups in the Peanuts cartoon (wha wha wha wha). Jesus was mentioned, but I didn’t really know Him. Most of the time I spent silently assessing people’s outfits or demeanor, during mass. Hats were of particular interest, especially the really elaborate ones.

I also went to church school on Tuesdays. I didn’t mind that, because I got to leave school, and most of the time in church school, we just fooled around and got into trouble with “Sister Judith”. Fun times.
But not really educational.

Later, after much soul searching, studying and truly finding out who Christ is, what He did and why, I have come to the point in my life of much freedom.
I get it.
Most of the questions that I had growing up, that never got answered by the people I asked the questions to, are now answered. Those that aren’t answered yet, I have faith will be, some day. And there are some that God plainly says are “Not to be answered now. It’s not your business”.
Because I trust Him, that’s okay with me. He is never going to do anything in my life that would result in harming me. In any way. Ever.

I also learned that God speaks to me through nature.
Recently, I had a conversation with my brother about how God speaks to us. For him, it’s through music. For my other brother, we were both guessing that it would be through written words, although, he hasn’t yet come to know God very well.
The point is, God speaks to each one of us through a unique channel. Even though He might speak to many through a medium like music, it’s not the same process, the same conversation or the same message. Each individual has a different experience, even though it could be the same medium, the same genre, or even the same song! God knows each of us individually. For some, the conversation begins, and may stay, in the church walls. That’s okay too.
But if you are not being fed the proper spiritual food, don’t just starve. Purpose to find out how God wants to communicate with you. He wants to communicate with you. In fact, He probably reaches out hundreds of times in a day, but it’s chalked up as “coincidence” or “that’s weird”. Those are the moments to pay attention to. He’s there, always patient, waiting with His hand outwardly stretched and inviting all to grasp it.

Now I pray in the middle of a field, while walking my dogs. (I still “go to church”, but I don’t limit my time with Him to just that) That’s my favorite thing in world, to be in nature, talking to God. He shows me things that other people never see. Sometimes, other people come with me, just to humor me, and come away amazed. “Wow! I have never seen that before!” is oftentimes repeated afterwards. “That was amazing!” or “It’s just so….so….beautiful out here!”.
I know. It’s God. He wants to show you those things too. Just ask Him to.

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