This experience was repeated again during my one-year extended business assignment in California, and then again when I was sent to Paris, France, for another extended assignment. Not sure if I was losing my mind or if it was simply another sign of advancing middle age, I mentioned it to no one.
An Unexpected Gift
My 18-year-old daughter, Brandi, joined me for three months in Paris. I left the organized church to pursue my own way in the world almost thirty years ago. So Brandi had been raised in a nominally Christian atmosphere without the benefit of a real church or religious experience. Before coming to Paris, she had been staying with some friends where she met a fine Christian young man. Consequently, an interest in both the young man and God developed, and she studied the Bible and attended one of the churches while in Paris. When we celebrated my birthday, she gave me Max Lucado’s book, When God Whispers Your Name. Though astonished by the book’s title, I said nothing to her of my experiences with the whispered voice.
Shortly after Brandi returned home, I took another job in South Bend, Indiana. The job was very close to my parents’ and my childhood home in Niles, Michigan. During that time I joyfully witnessed my daughter’s baptism, but I was still not ready to listen to God’s voice.
God Came and Got Me
On a business trip in Tennessee, I returned to my hotel room in the early evening and lay down for a while in anticipation of going out with my associates to dinner. As I lay there I could find no rest. I began to think of the experiences of my last 25 years: one divorce and another one on the way, the death by suicide of my 25-year-old son, one disaster after another. Suddenly, I realized that God was whispering my name!
I took the Gideon Bible from the night stand, looked in the subject index, and eagerly read texts about confession of sin, redemption, and divorce. I fell on my knees and tearfully begged for God’s forgiveness and His intervention in my life. God didn’t whisper to me that evening. He came and got me!
In the summer of 1998 I was baptized and joined a church in Niles. I praise God daily that He not only whispered my name, but that He came to snatch me from the downward spiral of my life. And I praise Him for a daughter who has learned to love Him, and who was not afraid to reach out to her earthly father with a message of hope and salvation.
Ron Williams writes from the Pacific Northwest.
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