When God spoke to me

I was on a rock climbing weekend with a club I went with regularly. We would climb or hike in North Wales, the Lake District, and the Peak District in England. I never missed a weekend.

Halfway up a cliff I was taking a break, sunbathing on a ledge, while others continued to climb above me. As I lay there enjoying the warmth, a Bible passage suddenly popped into my head: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Psalms 91:11, 12). I recognized it as a passage from the Bible and immediately felt protected and cared for.

The next thought that came to me was to bend my legs and bring my knees up to my chin. Half a second later, someone from the club, who was climbing above me, dislodged a large boulder. It came crashing down, bouncing off the ledge where my legs had been, continuing down the cliff, and landing so hard that it tore a hole in an abandoned rucksack which lay at the bottom.

It might sound surprising, but instead of feeling shocked or scared, I felt calm and loved. I recognized that the thought I’d had to bring my knees to my chin had been an “angel message” from God.

Instead of feeling shocked or scared, I felt calm and loved.

I’d been brought up as a Christian Scientist and had loved my time as a student in the Sunday School, where I’d learned that angels are “God’s thoughts passing to man,” as Mary Baker Eddy explains in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 581).

With all the thoughts that might come to us on a daily basis, how do we know we’re hearing one of these angel messages? A Christian Science friend once told me that you can discern when a thought is from God by asking yourself, “Does this thought have God (Love, Truth, good) in it?” She told me that if the answer was yes, then it was from God. If not, she said, the thought wasn’t worth listening to.

The dramatic experience of protection I had on the rock ledge wasn’t the result of the first clear message I’d ever heard from God, but it was one of the more striking ones I’ve gotten in my lifetime. I am grateful to say that since then, I’ve heard God speak many times, and I’ve learned this important lesson: You are better able to hear God’s voice when you humbly seek guidance and are prepared to be obedient to the message.

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