Fr. Hans Jacobse: When God Speaks and We Obey, Good Things Happen

Yesterday (Saturday) was a good day. I got a call late Friday evening that one of my parishioners was in the hospital. I decided to visit him Saturday morning and after arriving at the hospital discovered his surgery was moved up and I missed him. I left him a note and decide to visit him later.

Later that day the Lord spoke. “Go back to the hospital.” There’s always a little give and take when that happens (I had things planned) but the Lord said again, “Go back to the hospital.” I drove to the next exit, turned around, and headed back.

You never really know the reason for the command until you start doing what the Lord tells you to do. After obeying a few times however, you are confident enough to know that it is indeed God directing you and that something critical needs to be done. I got to the hospital, and just outside the door I saw Linda.

I didn’t know her name then but she was sobbing. I looked at her and said, “Tell me what’s wrong.”

“It’s my son,” she said.

“How sick is he?” I asked.

“He had an overdose. He is only nineteen. I am so worried.”

She gave me the details and I asked her, “Do you want me to go up his room and pray for him?”

“Would you?” she asked.

“Yes, of course. But I want you to come with me,” I responded.

We went to the room and Scott was sitting up in bed. He was uncomfortable at first when an Orthodox priest walked into his room, but in due course he began to relax. We started to talk. We talked a long time, over an hour I think. At the end I asked him if he wanted me to pray for him and he said yes.

Something good had been accomplished although I am not always certain what it is. God knows though.

After that visit I went to see how my parishioner was doing. The surgery went very well and the prognosis for recovery excellent.

Saturday’s experience shows how directly the Lord can lead us. And his clear directives are not only reserved for priests. Do you have the sense you should call or visit a friend? Do it. Every see someone and have the sense you should talk to him? Do it. Does someone you know need support or encouragement? Do it.

There are people in this world who need the help that only you can give.


  1. The noise of our lives coming from television or radio, Walkman or iPod shows that we are constantly trying to get rid of the silence.

    The modern world and its “free” people increasingly resemble a treacherous desert where illusory rest is found in oases of addictions (drugs, alcohol, sex, games) and consumerism… people dominated by passions and afraid to be alone with their own thoughts.

    True human freedom is slavery to God. We need to learn to be “tuned in” to hear God.

  2. Kevin Allen :

    I love this, Father! It is a great encouragement to me to know that we can really hear God’s voice within us if we take the time — and sometimes have the courage — to listen and respond. Thanks for the post!

  3. These things are not always so clear. I am dealing with thoughts and impulses and I can’t even assess where they come from and I don’t know what to do about them. I certainly know that I have to be careful because I can be easily deceived. Such things can be quite complicated, even dangerous.

  4. Michael Bauman :

    Yes, it clearly happens. Sometimes it is really crystal clear, other times more muted. I was in Indianapolis a few years ago in a Dairy Queen. I was waiting for my order when a distinguish looking man walked in. It was obvious he was a man of God somehow. All of a sudden I heard a voice: “Talk to the man!” Reluctantly, I went up and asked if he were a pastor. He said yes, and I thanked him for his dedication. I got my order and was heading back to my brother’s house, the voice said “Go back and talk to the man” I did and we ended up having a wonderful conversation about God, Jesus Christ and Mary (although he was Protestant). At the end we clasped hands and prayed in thanksgiving.

  5. St. John of Kronstadt said, that “If anybody has any doubts about whether or not the devil exists, just try to keep the commandments of Christ and spend time in fast and prayer”.

    It used to be common knowledge that demons are deceiving and can imitate benevolent spirits in order to trick people. I know someone who got tricked and spent some time behind the locked doors of a psychiatric ward.
    One is never sure to be walking on safe paths. St. John’s Climacus Ladder of Divine Ascent shows that one can fall off the top rung.
    The church teaches us to “test the spirits, to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). I do not know how the “test the spirits”. I try to keep in mind Psalm 51 …

    Have mercy upon me, O God,
    According to Your lovingkindness;
    According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
    Blot out my transgressions.
    Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    And cleanse me from my sin.
    For I acknowledge my transgressions,
    And my sin is always before me.
    Against You, You only, have I sinned,
    And done this evil in Your sight

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