When I Listened To God’s Still Small Voice

Six years ago this week I heard God speak. Quietly. Softly. Gently. I didn’t verbally hear God’s voice. Instead it came unexpectedly through the circumstances surrounding my first grandchild’s birth. And the message I heard when he was born totally caught me by surprise.

Camden - golf clubs
Camden Gudgel, 4 years old

At the time, Bernice and I were living in Phoenix, though our kids still lived in California. We missed the beach and our California roots, but life was really good in the desert. I was the Lead Pastor at a great church. I had over 250 golf courses to choose from. I was on the radio five days a week. I was having an impact on unbelievers for Christ. What more could I ask for?

Then I found out I was going to become a grandpa. I wasn’t crazy about the idea at first. I was too young to be a grandpa!  In fact, when my family asked me what my future grandkids should call me, I said, “Have them call me Dave! Grandpa is something you call old people.”

Not long after that I found myself in a hospital room in California holding Camden. It took about ten seconds before I began telling everyone, “He can call me grandpa.” That was the first whispering I heard of God’s “Dave and Bernice Relocation Plan.”

The message God was speaking into me got a little louder a while later at Camden’s baby dedication. I was on a sabbatical at the time Camden was born so we got to stay in California and hang out with them for a while. And as we stood up on that platform with Brian & Mary & little Camden, in front of God and their church family, I just about lost it. I was glad their local pastor was doing the talking because I don’t think I could have gotten a word out. And in that moment God whispered again.

That afternoon Bernice and I began a long 13-hour drive back to Phoenix. We were at the end of my sabbatical and it was time to go home. As we drove away from Camden and the rest of our family, I was an emotional wreck. And in the midst of my breakdown, God spoke. It was time to let go of all the great things that were happening for me in Phoenix and move back to California so I could be a very present grandpa for Camden and any other grandkids that came along.

When Bernice confirmed what I sensed God was saying, we faced a decision. Would we hear God’s voice and act? We decided to act, and God ended up opening a door for us at a church that was a beautiful 2-hour drive from Camden. Close enough to be a very involved Nonna & Grandpa.

I love hearing and acting on God’s still small voice. There is no better way to live. Have you heard Him whispering to you? Are you listening for His voice?