What does communication with God look like to you? Is it the same for everyone or is it unique to each of us?
I used to think that it was the same for all of us. You know, follow a set formula when you talk to God and hope He answers. That was until I read a story Laurie Beth Jones tells in her book, Jesus Life Coach.
In the book, she tells how at the age of 14 she asked Jesus to join her in a personal ritual and send her a ladybug when He was thinking about her. She goes on to share all the creative ways God has sent ladybugs to her over the years, and she knows that every time a ladybug appears Jesus is saying,” I see you, I’m with you, I love you.”
In addition, she relates stories of friends who have made similar requests. One asked for a white butterfly, and another asked to see a penny. In every instance, God answered in unbelievable ways.
That got me thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if Jesus and I had a personal ritual. But I wasn’t sure about asking God for a “sign.”
So I prayed, telling Him that I knew He loved me with or without any physical sign but if He was OK with my request, would He send me a hawk as our personal communication.
Why a hawk? Well, I love birds. Over the years I’ve had many pet birds and am still an avid bird watcher. I especially love birds of prey.
I told God that every time I see a hawk, it would be a confirmation that He is thinking of me and saying,” I see you, I’m with you, and I love you.”
The next morning on my drive to work I passed three crosses someone had erected atop a small hill, next to the road. Although I passed them every day on my morning commute this day was different.
As I looked over at them, sitting on top of the center cross was a magnificent hawk looking back at me. To say I was blown away would be an understatement.
I looked toward heaven and said, “I’ll take that as a yes.”
The Personal Communication Continues
That was over 12 years ago, and I cannot tell you how many hawks he has sent to me since that day.
I have seen them everywhere. On the ground and in trees. On telephone poles and street lamps in the middle of big cities. Soaring over highways. Strafing my car. I hear them calling from trees in the woods. You name it I have probably seen a hawk there.
There hasn’t been one week since that first day that I haven’t seen at least one hawk. And Countless times I see multiple hawks in different places on the same day.
During the best times of my life and during the worst times in my life I see them.
On more than one occasion while driving, I’ll shoot Jesus a quick prayer. I tell Him, “You know, I’ve never seen one here before.” And incredibly within a day or two, a hawk will greet me from that very spot.
It never gets old!
And it never ceases to amaze me how God can love me so much that He would share this special, one of a kind communication with me.
What If It’s Just A Coincidence
Maybe you think this is a great story, but it’s just a coincidence that I see so many hawks.
Although I don’t believe in coincidences I have to admit that I did wonder if was just my RAS kicking in.
The RAS (Reticular Activating System) is a cluster of nerve cells in the brainstem that regulate alertness and attention.
We are bombarded by thousands of stimuli every second; different sights, sounds, and sensations. The job of the RAS is to regulate which stimuli you pay attention to and which you ignore.
It’s a gatekeeper or screening device. Think of it as mental radar. The RAS determines what you notice and what goes unnoticed.
Say, for instance, you purchase a new red car. The minute you drive off the car lot all you see are red cars. You notice them everywhere. That’s because the RAS has created a new cognitive category for red cars.
Is that what was happening to me, was my RAS just making me more aware of hawks that had been there all along?
The Exclamation Point
In my heart of hearts, I knew it was God and not my RAS but still…
Mark Batterson says, ” Sometimes God shows up and sometimes He shows off.”
Well, He showed up and showed off one summer day while I was mowing.
As I opened the gate to mow on the other side of the fence, there it was. I could not believe my eyes. Lying on the ground, directly in front of me was the tail feather of a hawk.
Really? I don’t live in the country so what would this be doing here? I knew what it was before I picked it up. But just to be sure I consulted my field guides to confirm and yes, that is what it was.
It was as if He was saying, “Not sure that the hawks are direct gifts from me? Afraid it’s just your RAS? Well, how about this? Your RAS wasn’t tuned into a feather, was it? Oh, and just for the record, I designed your RAS and how it works.”
What Does This Mean To You
You may wonder why I am telling you this story. That’s easy. I want you to know and understand just how crazy God is about you.
Am I saying that you should ask God for a personal ritual to remind you of this? Not necessarily, that is up to you.
Your story and walk with God will be different than mine, but we have one thing in common. We are loved.
Even on our worst day, He loves us more than we can even imagine!
When life is good or when we face difficult challenges, just remember He sees you, He is with you, and He loves you!
When you truly understand how much He loves you it will change your life. You will be free to become who He created you to be.
How has God shown up in unusual ways in your life? Do you believe He loves you and is crazy about you? Leave a comment below.