Faith Stories: Do you have to be slapped upside your head by God like I do?
For the past few years I have been praying to God for direction: What do You want me to do to be Your hands and feet? Show me the gifts I might use to Your glory. I know You are listening to me, but I am having a hard time hearing any answers … Hello?
Well, of course God has spoken to me – I just don’t look for HOW He delivers His answers. I have two major examples of how God has answered my prayers/questions.
First, I kept lamenting to those close to me about waiting and waiting and waiting for God to give me direction; what great things shall I do to glorify you? I plodded along doing my everyday stuff, getting more frustrated that I should be doing something BIG for God. Lament, lament, lament! Then one day, the simple answer came from my daughter (bless her because she hears a large amount of my lamenting). She said, “Mom, maybe you are already doing what God wants you to do: spending lots of time with family, grandchildren, Shepherd’s Market, Hospice, Sunday School, ALS fundraisers.” Wow. Eye opener. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I just need to focus on my tasks to see how I can better represent my Lord and my faith. A new Christian pop song came over the radio recently that delivers this message very well: Dream Small by Josh Wilson.
My second example is not so much about my prayers as it is about God knowing the desires of my heart. I love to go on mission as most of you know: Cuba and India. But I also have a deep desire to travel and learn about different cultures. I am just not comfortable – yet – to travel alone. Well, of course God knows our every thought, prayer and wish. While visiting my brother in Vermont last January, my sister-in-law suggested I look into the travel organization called Roads Scholar. She knew people who had gone on various trips and loved it. Looking at their copy of the Roads Scholar magazine, one of my dream trips caught my eye: Valley of the Pharaohs, Egypt.
Fast forward five months: One Saturday I was speaking with a seasoned traveler at a church function. I told her about this trip to Egypt and how this was front and center on my “bucket list.” She cocked her head, looked a bit surprised and said, “Well, I am going on that very trip this November.” Wow! Are you kidding me? I hurried home and tried to register but the trip was full. I ended up #1 on the wait list.
Two days later, on Monday, I received in the mail the page from the Roads Scholar magazine about Valley of the Pharaohs from my sister-in-law with a note: Do it!! (I can tell you mail between VT and LA takes longer than 2 days!) The very next day, Tuesday, I was browsing through Amazon Prime’s newest offerings of free Kindle books and the second book on the list was… Lonely Planet: Egypt, A Travel Guide. What?!?! OK God! I hear You loud and clear! I am convicted. I am going on this trip whether it be with someone I know or at some other time by myself. Slapped upside my head! God again reminded me of who is really in control when I found out I was no longer on the wait list and was going with friends after all. Oh, and by the way my notification came on Jere’s and my anniversary.
God is good all the time. All the time God is good. Perhaps now I will “listen” for God better. Dream small, dream big, God hears you.