Maybe I’m alone in feeling a bit stressed the past few weeks, or maybe not! Thoughts and preparations for Back-to-School, both at home and at work, have consumed my mind. Additionally, I just finished writing a novel and have been looking into the possibility of traditional publishing, after having self-published eleven prior books. I have been attending Bible Study Fellowship since 2013, and have been asked to take on a leadership role. I am humbled, honored and excited about this new opportunity to serve the Lord, but also feel inadequate to perform the duties as they should be performed. My home needs a good top to bottom cleaning, as it has seen more of its inhabitants in the past six months, than ever - and it shows! Regarding Back-to-School, I seem to have more questions than answers, and that leaves me uneasy and in prayer for the new year. With so much on the horizon to begin in September, I asked the Lord if I could, maybe, with His blessing, I could change this blog to a monthly publication, rather than weekly. I’ve been praying about this for the past few weeks, but would only make such a change once I had a clear answer from Him, a clear Yes, I hoped! I am here to report, however, that God said No.
I didn’t hear His actual voice this time. I can imagine it, in hindsight, but even without hearing His actual voice, He told me No, moving to a monthly blog model is not what He wants from me right now. I have quite a few responsibilities, and the burden of all of them has been weighing on me. God told me No by removing one of my other weekly duties - not the blog, but something else. He told me No by giving me more time to focus on the blog - and other things He wants me to pursue at this time.
I could, easily, have missed this answer to prayer. I could, easily, have assumed that in what seemed like His silence, it was up to me to make the decision. So often, our prayers are, “Lord, I need X to happen, so Y can happen, so Z can happen, please, Lord, let it be so!” We say, “Lord, please X and Y and Z, I can’t take it anymore!” We say, “Lord, I really need X, because Y and Z..!” Sometimes we are guilty of trying to answer our own prayers. Sometimes our prayers leave little room for God to be God. My prayer may or may not have sounded like the examples above, but He still responded. Although His response was not what I proposed, I understand His response, as His response.
In the book of Job we read about unimaginable loss and suffering. Job loses his children, his servants, his animals, his crops, then he is stricken with painful sores all over his body. He is left with a wife who suggests that he curse God and die, a dog, and friends who, initially, don’t know what to say, then they start saying ridiculous things and wondering what evil he did to cause this. When I read Job, I am sad for him, and I wonder why, too! As humans, this is what we do! We use our big brains and our rational minds to plan, propose, reason, and solve. God has given us the ability to do such things, but we must always remember, that although we have some reasoning ability, some ability to solve problems, and some ability to plan, we are human and have great limitations. Thirty-eight chapters into the book of Job, the Lord responds to Job and to all of us who want it our way.
Wow. Crickets. He leaves no room for man to continue to question or think he makes his own way. He is the Creator of all things, and all things are His to control.
- - - - -
As we each enter our new season, whatever it may be - back to school, back to work, off to the military, retirement, a diagnosis, a job loss, or new job, a or even a season without someone we love - we must maintain hearts of gratitude, pray without ceasing, and realize that we are not supposed to understand everything, but we must have faith in the One who does. Amen.
8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Have a wonderfully blessed week!
Stay safe, sanitized, and wear your face mask! Amen!