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So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

I'm a teacher who works with small children. I would be rich if I had a nickel for all the times over the past twenty years that I have said, "Pay attention. Are you listening? What did I say? I just said that. Look at me. Turn your listening ears on. I don't want to have to say this again." And on, and on.

I've been a Christian longer than I have been a teacher. I would probably also be rich if I had a nickel for all the times that God has been speaking to me and I have missed it or ignored it or not recognized that it was Him doing the talking.

The past several months have been difficult ones for me. I left a church family of eighteen years in obedience to what I still believe was the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. In my economy, obedience in a hard thing should lead to big reward (again, like my students: "If we do a good job, do we get a Skittle?"). Instead, it has seemed to lead to silence. I have continued in the disciplines of the faith, reading my Bible and praying and attending church. I have felt disconnected and have believed that God was not speaking. The loneliness and silence have made me angry and hurt, which led to an attitude of cynicism and sarcasm concerning what God is doing.

Last Sunday was the first glimpse of God that I have noticed in a while. In the middle of the message, or the song, or. . . I don't even remember, it occurred to me that God has been quietly doing things in my life. I had been praying and praying for guidance in a particular situation, and while there was no thundering voice from heaven, circumstances aligned and I had my answer. My  moment of clarity:  God is moving even when I don't see it.

Wednesday I had another sighting. A dear friend called specifically to see how I was doing Unfortunately, in the way we perversely do when someone we love and trust starts poking around, I reacted with defensiveness and intellectual argument and a refusal to acknowledge the presence of God in anything at all right now, EVER. However, in the perverse way of the love of Jesus, she prayed over me and for me and I started to pay attention that the very act of a friend calling, caring, listening, praying, and loving was the Lord at work to draw me closer to Him.

I determined that I needed (when don't I?) more time to spend with God praying and working through some of this. I sat down on the couch this morning and picked up Charles Swindoll's book about Esther that I have been reading but not opened in weeks. The chapter was about the silence of God.

Okay. I'm starting to get it (today, anyhow). I've read the story about Elijah in 1 Kings 19:9-18, about how the Lord speaks to him not in a wind, an earthquake, or a fire; but in a whisper. I know that in my brain, but my heart still wants something loud--because then I know for sure that I'm doing what I should be. Yet often the Lord is moving through quiet circumstances and speaking in words we already know. I want to be connected to a church family again. I've found a church to try. Yet I have been dragging my heels about joining a small group. Do I need a telegram to know what to do? I want more depth with God. I found out about a women's Bible study that keeps coming back to my mind. Do I need angels singing?

Again and again, because I am as slow to listen and pay attention as my students (with less excuse, since most of them are only seven years old), God reminds me that faith is not based in burning bushes and talking donkeys, but in the ever-present knowledge of the love of Christ shown me on the cross. God's voice was not heard in the book of Esther, yet His purposes prevailed. His silence does not mean that He is idle in my life. I am praying for a heart that sees Him at work in the smallest of ways.