by Chuck Lawless

I’m not one to rely much on feelings and emotions when trying to listen to God. I love His Word, and I’m grateful for His Spirit who indwells and guides us. But, I will never forget my overwhelming sense of God’s speaking to me some years ago in a remote West African village.

A group of students and I had been training throughout the area for days, and we had little time or Internet/phone coverage to communicate with our families back home. In fact, those few days were the longest Pam and I had ever gone without at least emailing each other. I desperately missed hearing her voice and reading her emails, and I suspect my longing was apparent by how much I talked about her.

At the end of the trip, our group gathered together to report about our experience. One by one, the students talked about what they had learned about God, about others, about missions, about themselves during the trip. My turn came, but words were difficult. I could’ve talked about how much I had grown to love my students, how much I respected the national believers, how grateful I was for Southern Baptist Convention missionaries – but none of those words would come out.

All I could think about in those moments was what seemed to be an almost audible question from God – so clear to me that I’ve never forgotten the words:

“You know how much you missed Pam when you couldn’t hear from her and couldn’t talk with her for those few days?  Do you remember how lonely you were then? Do you ever miss Me that much when you make it through the day without hearing from Me or talking to Me?

The question still challenges me.

And, the answer sometimes still hurts.

Ask God to make you long for Him as you prepare for worship this weekend.


This article originally appeared at and was posted here with permission.