Whispers from God to a Hungry Heart - Encouragement for Today - September 26, 2017

Andrea Logan White

September 26, 2017
Whispers from God to a Hungry Heart

“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6b (NIV)

I heard the whisper of God in, of all places, a nail salon.

I was a young aspiring actor who’d come to Los Angeles with a dream. I barely knew myself and certainly didn’t know God.

To pay my bills I worked jobs I despised, hearing they might help me in the entertainment world. But I soon discovered it was far from satisfying. I was living alone and terribly lonely. There had to be something more in life — something better.

In the absence of meaningful relationships, I craved food, having struggled with an eating disorder for years. I’d sit at home alone, watch TV and eat.

I began to gain weight and then dove into reading hundreds of self-help books on health and wholeness, motivation, well-being and alternative medicine. Still, I felt empty.

I craved something more than fun, diversion and health … more than celebrity. But what? Looking back, I see my inner hunger drove me to search for ways to fill myself, but none of them worked.

Soul hunger or not, a girl can’t live in Los Angeles without getting her nails done — especially a wannabe actor. So I religiously took my place in a chair at the nail salon.

As I sat there, I read a Ladies Home Journal article which outlined a healthy eating plan with a spiritual understanding of our bodies and innermost person. The program incorporated daily prayer, confession, and — of all things — Bible reading. Something stirred in me. The article pulled back the curtain to peer deep into my soul, where my hunger originated. I knew I was reading truth.

Daily, I began to keep a journal, pray and read Bible verses — all completely new to me. As I did, I felt a deep awakening in my heart, and power was flowing into me.

One day, I started to panic about my upcoming car payment. My first instinct kicked in — I bolted to grab something sweet. Suddenly, I stopped and prayed, “God, if this prayer stuff really works, then I’m coming to You first.” The urge to eat passed. Within a day, a check arrived for a small job I’d recently done. Car payment covered!

Whoa. There really was something to this spiritual stuff. Through prayer and Bible reading, I began to understand how empty my heart felt for the first time. I was hungry to be filled.

Eventually, I got up my nerve and showed up to a local church small group. Most of the women there knew a lot more about God and the Bible than I did, but to my amazement, they were kind and welcomed me; I knew I’d be back.

I’d never sat in a circle and had people actually pray for me. Tears ran down my cheeks. Their prayers made me feel cared for and encouraged, as if I mattered personally to them and to God. Wanting to contribute to the group, I started to read my Bible more.

From reading, I finally realized I was hearing the whispers of God. God was accomplishing His purposes in me and whispering His love through two powerful means: His Word and His people. God had begun “a good work” in me and I knew He would “carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6b).

Today, I treasure those memories as major milestones on my faith journey. Far before I knew God, He knew me and loved me. He placed His word in my life at a nail salon and then sent me to the dear ladies at church to sow seeds of faith into my life — seeds that have grown into a vibrant personal friendship with God and that continue to grow ever-deeper roots.

Dear Lord, thank You for beginning Your good work in our lives and using Your Word and Your people to complete it. Stir our hunger for Your Word and stir our thirst for fellowship with others who carry Your love into our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Philippians 1:9-10, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” (NIV)

If you struggle with a self-condemning voice that tells you only perfection will do, you’ll find grace and encouragement in Perfectly UnfinishedFinding Beauty in the Midst of Brokenness, the story Andrea Logan White is living out today. It’s an invitation to the wondrous mystery of God’s abundant love as the incompleteness of our lives brings us closer to Him. Learn more at PerfectlyUnfinished.com.

You can find more encouragement from Andrea, here on her blog.

Enter to WIN a copy of Perfectly Unfinished by Andrea! In celebration of this book, Zondervan is giving away 10 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 10 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, Oct. 2.}

Can you recall a specific time when God’s Word stirred you deeply and brought about a change in your life? How did God use others to encourage you in that growth?

Consider how the women at the church played such a huge part in Andrea’s spiritual awakening without ever knowing her larger story. Who can you impact by demonstrating God’s love and care? Reach out this week.

© 2017 by Andrea Logan White. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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Originally published Tuesday, 26 September 2017.