This past weekend a group of girls and I went to sing for the Salvation Army Women's Shelter. As a group we were very conscience of the fact that this was going to be different from any opportunity that we'd had before. We wanted so much to be able to reach out to the women and children in the shelter and we prayed that the Lord would use the music to break down walls so that we would have the opportunity to share about God's amazing love and salvation.
That morning, before I went to meet the other girls, I was getting my shower and contemplating what to wear. It was like I wanted to look my best, but at the same time God nudged me. "Leave your engagement ring at home." I didn't really understand, but it became heavily impressed on me to wear jeans and a t-shirt and not too much jewelry. Thing is... I kept my engagement ring on!!! I suppose, out of habit, I just continued to get ready and didn't think another thing about what the Lord had specifically said.
We arrived and set up our sound, ran through the songs and prayed. They opened the doors and a line of women and children entered the cafeteria where they would have a meal and we would sing. Immediately one of the girls that sings beside me said, "Oh, my heart is so heavy for them. I don't think I can do this."
As the women and kids began to get their food and sit down to eat we began to sing. There were some upbeat songs and some of them clapped and sang with us. Others looked so down trodden and desperate that they didn't even look up. We began to get some of the children to come up and give us high five's and they wanted to sing in the microphones. We taught them some words and let them sing.
One little boy... probably around 5-6 years old kept coming to me and smiling this huge smile. He kept wanting to sing in my mic and then he said it. "WOW! Look at THAT RING! It's BIG!"
Oh, my heart just sank. God reminded me RIGHT THERE that I had been disobedient and that I had ignored His nudge. Instead of hearing the words of the songs about forgiveness and mercy that little boy had seen my ring!!! I stooped down and told him that Jesus loved him very much and that He had a plan for his life. I hid my ring out of sight and desperately tried to make him hear that no matter what he was loved by a Heavenly Father that could give him much more than rings or pretty temporal things.
Later in the weekend I heard a speaker on Christian radio talking about the nudges that God gives us. He said that often times they are one sentence, but very specific nudges and we are wise to obey even when we don't understand. God really convicted me that He had specifically given me an instruction and that I had chosen not to hear it and act on it immediately.
I am forever telling my daughter to LISTEN THE FIRST TIME! It hurts my heart when she blatantly disobeys me when I know that she has heard my instructions. I can only imagine that my Heavenly Father felt the same way as I obviously disobedient to His command. The wonderful thing about it all is that God still speaks to His children, and though I am not always obedient, He still forgives and He still uses us to do His work.
Maybe God is telling you to do something. Maybe you are sensing a nudge. I pray that you will not be like me, but that you will hear and act immediately. His ways are not our ways and His plans are not our plans. We don't always need to understand, but we DO need to obey the nudge.