Three years ago I started listening to God regularly.
Before that time, I had always (like most believers) gone about my days reading my Bible and praying, not expecting God to speak into the mundane but usually relying on his direction for big decisions or problems or things that I thought I couldn’t handle. What I figured out in a state park in East Texas three years ago was there is never a time God is not going to speak if we are willing and expectant to listen. Plus, I can’t handle life – period – so why am I not listening to God’s voice every day?
That day, I started listening to God speak to me as much as I speak to him, or at least trying to. I gave his voice its own color in my journal so now I can flip through the pages of my life and see what God has been telling me…
Big bold letters.
Almost every time he speaks, it’s repeated over and over and over because apparently I don’t trust him. I followed him to a tin box in Africa, how can I not trust him? That was comparably easy. That was the plan. That was something I wanted. In fact, it’s the only “long term goal” I have ever set for myself.
So now, as I sit and hear God ask, ” Do you trust me?” I am ashamed to answer no, but he already knows that so there is no point in lying or trying to hide it.
I don’t trust God because I still think I know what is best for me. I see a future that looks easy and I try to make it happen. I see what I want, not necessarily what I need. I don’t let him put the pieces of my life together so instead I’m falling apart or perhaps in this mess I am falling together but if that’s true, I have yet to see what the picture is.
Have you ever met anyone who tries to put a puzzle together without looking at the box? I feel like I’ve met these people before – they claim to “like the challenge.” Personally, I think it is complete idiocy. How can you put together a picture if you don’t know what the picture is? I guess that’s life though, isn’t it?
We don’t get to see the box. We know the artist, but if we try to put the pieces together on our own we could end up with Picasso instead of Rockwell.
We are asked to trust that the artist of our life knows what he is doing and to listen when he directs the pieces.
In these moments I am humbled by the patience and love and grace and mercy that I can come before the Sovereign God and act like the stubborn child that I am. I can be angry before him. I can yell and curse and tell him I don’t trust him to be good because what I want he hasn’t given me. I can be broken and messy. I can be ignorant of my life up until this point and claim he has done nothing for me in the past.
I can be weak. I can be unreasonable. I can be human. Because he is God and he is always good.
And when I’ve calmed down enough to once again listen and hear his still voice whispering in my ear “Trust me” I can remember and testify to his faithfulness in every step up until now
So maybe right now I’m not trusting or believing it, but I can rest assured that God has written my future and it is a good one.
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterwards you take me into glory