Can We Really Hear God Speak? by Heather Bryant Tyson

God speaks. All the time. You know, for much of my life – during trials and hardship – I’ve posed the question I think every believer has at one point in their life – “why is He so quiet? When am I going to hear from Him?” What we are looking for is an answer, right? We are looking to hear something comforting. We are looking to hear something that helps us – that gives us hope – that gets us through the tough times. But what does that look like? I will tell you – that is simply His voice. It’s not ever going to be in what you hear. It’s never going to be in the answer you wanted. It’s never going to be an outcome or a change of circumstance. Yes, those things may make us feel better momentarily and say what an answer to prayer with rejoicing. But the ONLY thing that will help us is His voice. Just Him. Because He is the answer. He is hope. He is the change of circumstance.

My husband and I have walked a really tough road this week. A painful road. One that feels like devastation. We’ve struggled. We’ve cried. We’ve been angry. I admit – I don’t understand sometimes and while I know that God is on His throne and while I know that He makes EVERYTHING GOOD, it sometimes does not feel like that right? So this week I’ve been just sad and even felt myself asking the why question – even though I know in my head that’s wrong. But we can’t help it. It’s what we do. And honestly, I felt like He was quiet. Yes, I know in my head He was there – but didn’t feel it every second in my heart. And that is not because He hasn’t been there – He is always there. It’s because my heart was seeking answers – not Him. And as I wondered why He wasn’t speaking to be directly – why He was choosing to stay quiet in the storm, He showed me Himself mightily. See, God speaks. All the time. And when we aren’t in tune to listen to Him speaking directly to our hearts, He uses other routes. People. I can imagine Jesus saying “I love you too much, let me try to tell you this way.”

Here is how He spoke to me through other people this week. None of it gave me answers, but all of it showed me more of Him.

Random texts “I’m thinking about you” or “I can’t get you off my heart and I’m praying” – from people who didn’t have a clue I was struggling. Thank you to those for your obedience.

A phone call asking me step forward and lead women’s bible study Wednesday not because I was needed but because “the Holy Spirit is heavily laying on my heart that you need to teach this one.” To teach a lesson amidst my storm? I don’t know why, but I knew it was from Him too. Thank you, friend, for your obedience.

An outpouring of love from those closest to me just to let me know they were there and that they love me dearly. Thank you, family, for your obedience.

A phlebotomist at the doctor’s office, who upon assaulting me with her needle said as she poked me “breathe in the goodness of God. Now breathe out His mercy.” And then shouted to me as I left “BE GLORIOUS!” Thank you, Ms. Louise, for your obedience.

See, none of that was about people. It was about Him. It was about Him speaking to me in my storm – using other people. And their obedience blessed me beyond measure because they put themselves aside to show me HIM.

I stand in awe of my Maker. The one who created everything from nothing and loves me so much that silence isn’t enough for me. Yeah, I don’t always get answers – but I always get Him. Because He shouts through the darkness, He chases in the dark and He exists in the stillness.

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

He is the same. Yesterday – before the storm. Today – during the storm. Forever – after the storm and neverending.



  1. Beautiful. Thank you so much! But I am sorry that your encouragement had to come from such a place of hardship.


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