This particular Saturday when I was about 12 we chose a trail that led toward what appeared to be a very large rock jutting out from the hillside, looking for snakes along the way. The trail from below took us around the base of this rock. Looking up we could see where rock climbers had left chalk marks from their handholds as they had attempted to ascend the overhang. We made our way up the trail to the top of the large rock. It jutted out from the hillside and ended in a point you could stand on and look out over miles of the Spokane River. Just behind the rock was a little cave that went thirty or forty feet back into the hillside.
I decided to head out to the point of the rock before exploring the cave. I headed out in a sort of slow jog toward the nose. With about a dozen steps to the edge, nowhere near danger I heard the loud voice of my father in a very commanding tone say, “Stop!” Just one word, no explanation. Just “Stop!” This was not a voice I questioned. I stopped.
The Unseen Gap
I had never been on this rock before, so I did not know that what had just appeared to be a small step down in front of me, a step which I was about to take, was a great crack in the rock. The whole nose of the rock had separated. Over many years, it left a gap about four feet wide and 50 feet or more to the bottom. This is what I had been about to jump into when my father told me to stop. I stared down into the crevice that had been invisible to me just one step back. One more step, and I would have been at least severely injured if not killed.
Alone… But Not Alone
I turned around only to discover that I was alone. I found my Dad back in the cave with my brothers and asked if he had said anything to me. He had been in the cave the whole time and was completely unaware of what I was doing on the rock. He hadn’t said a word.
Whoever stood on that rock with me and commanded me to stop I can only believe was a messenger from God. While I don’t expect to ever hear an audible voice again, I am grateful that God’s messenger chose to speak. I am glad that I obeyed and will continue to obey the voice of God, whether audible or inaudible, because I know He loves me.
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