(This blog on video is at the bottom of this page)
So often my heart goes to “God, do something – show me what you want me to do, open a door, make a way.” Then there is silence and stillness…seemingly.
Holding on to the truth that God does guide, counsel, provide and create, I wonder if I miss His answers and interventions. After all, God said, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go…” (Psalm 32:8) Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:19)
I think God often brings us answers in the form of ideas and opportunities and says, “I heard you…here you go.” Then something transpires in the form of
- a passing comment,
- someone sharing the difficulty of their journey,
- a sudden awareness a problem at work,
- a memory of something we dreamed of doing or being,
- an idea that pops into our head.
We can easily dismiss these type of things as the clutter and distractions of our mind or of a needy and broken world rather than the onramp to the road we were asking for.
The next thing that happens as we ask, seek and knock may contain the next thing that’s needed in our journey of discovering, developing and deploying our calling.
We read in 1 Kings 19 that Elijah was in a bad place, even though he experienced God in some amazing ways throughout his life. He was fatigued, fearful and doubting God’s involvement in everything. He was in deep resignation.
Elijah wanted God to take him home. Instead, God took him to the desert, on a brutal forty day hike. God’s first words to Elijah upon his arrival were, “What are you doing here?”
Ok, that seems a little absent-minded or cruel…or was it?
Answering God’s question, Elijah explains his deep disappointment and confusion over the way things had turned out. In response, God said, stand here and watch for Me.
What? Didn’t God hear what Elijah just said? He wanted an explanation, some help or at least some sympathy.
God shows him some amazing effects – rock shattering wind, an earthquake and fire. After this large-screen, 3-D, surround-sound show, God whisper to him. It was God’s whispered words that causes Elijah to cover his face before God in humility and respect.
He asks Elijah once again, “What are you doing here?”
What? Not again. This doesn’t make sense…or does it?
Elijah gives the same response as before, with God answering, “Go back the way you came…” then gives him his next steps.
What? Couldn’t God have simply told Elijah his next steps without a 40-days-x-2 excursion?
Evidently not. Everything about Elijah’s experience was an answer to the cry of his heart. God’s message to Elijah was basically:
- Watch for me in all things – big or small, obvious or obscure, loud or quiet,
- You’re not alone,
- Get back into the game – we are not done yet,
- It’s never too late,
- I’ll sustain you – I told you that “this journey is too much for you”, but you made it.
Ok, that’s cool. What seemed so ridiculous and irrelevant was needed, powerful and beautiful. So, as your heart cries out, “God, do something – show me what you want me to do, open a door, make a way”, watch for Him. He may whisper to you through a scripture, a thought, conversation, observation, situation or a reaction of your heart. Stay alert and oriented. Follow God’s leading – big or small, obvious or obscure.
It may be the onramp for the next road you’ve been looking for.