July 3, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God. Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

At the destined hour it will come in breathless haste, it will not fail. If it delays wait for it; for when it comes will be no time to linger. The reckless will be unsure of himself, while the righteous one will live by being faithful.


Habakkuk 2:3–4 New English Bible


Over 15 years ago, Jay and I were sensing that our time at our church and our life in Chicago were drawing to a close. We had no idea what God was calling us to next—nor when, so it became a serious time of listening and discernment for us.


In April 2009, I met with my spiritual director, a person who comes alongside another to listen for God’s activity. I told her of our restlessness. She said that the God of Israel who had summoned us by name would summon us again in the fullness of time. She then reached behind her chair to grab a Bible from a basket of books. She opened it up to Habakkuk 2 and read this to me: “At the destined hour it will come in breathless haste, it will not fail. If it delays, wait for it; for when it comes will be no time to linger.”


Jay and I decided to do a thirty-day challenge with the Habakkuk 2 scripture. We read it each day and then discussed what we were hearing or learning from it. Often during the night, Jay and I felt as if God nudged one of us awake. We would quietly get up, then read, journal, pray, and listen.


Jay decided to make a few phone calls to make some connections about other job possibilities, and in one of the calls, he was told to reach out to Peachtree Presbyterian Church. While these things were happening, we were also preparing for a mission trip to Malawi. We had a strong sense that it would somehow mark the finish line for our time in Chicago.


On July 2, 2009, Jay’s first day back at work after our trip, his office phone rang. It was Peachtree’s Executive Pastor telling Jay about a role that really fit his sense of calling. Over the ensuing weeks, God made it clear that He was not just releasing us from our work in Chicago; He was calling us to something new.


In August, with breathless haste, we put our house in Chicago on the market, packed our personal belongings and moved with our two children to Atlanta—just four months after we intently began to listen and discern God’s will for our family.


The listening and discernment process during this period of time involved sharing with and listening to trusted friends, reading and engaging with scripture, paying attention to our interior thoughts and feelings, making phone calls, noticing the unusual timing of circumstances, getting up in the night when prompted, journaling, and praying.


Each element on its own would not have made God’s will clear, but all together it made it undeniable.

For Reflection

What scripture has connected with your life and given you guidance?


What promptings have you heard from God? Did you follow through?


Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to listen to you and to pay attention to your movement in my life. Guide me; grant me wisdom and courage this day to honor your plans and your will for my life. AMEN.

Rebecca Madden
Women's Ministry and Connections Director