Have you ever set out for a destination and lost your way? Maybe on a trip where your GPS was wrong or in a car where someone refused to ask for directions? Have you ever moved forward with a new relationship, a career change, a geographic move or a college choice and began to doubt it was the right decision part way through?
This has been my experience this year with my ministry, Living the Life Transparent. I discussed part of this journey in my Nov. 15 blog When God Says Wait. I wanted to continue the discussion in hopes that it would encourage others who may be in a waiting period or wondering if they are on the right path.
In the book Experiencing God, authors Blackaby & King, tell us that God speaks to us “by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways.” I first did this study in 1996 as part of a young-marrieds group. I am doing it again 20 years later as part of the curriculum for a year-long class I am taking. I didn’t agree with everything I read the first time I did it and I still don’t but there is a lot of excellent material in the book including the above quote.
As I have struggled to find answers I have studied the Bible, prayed privately and asked for corporate prayer. I have looked for God in my circumstances and sought wisdom and insight from the church as a body of believers. At my lowest point, when I was truly questioning everything at the deepest possible level and could no longer find my way, I received an unexpected invitation. It was unsolicited and came completely out of the blue. And it was - quite simply - a gift from God.
The invitation was an opportunity to present my ministry to a church board. Doing so would involve taking 10 minutes to explain my past, the present, and the future of the ministry that I felt I had been called to by God. For me it involved taking a look back and creating an outline so I could clearly and concisely explain my ministry in the short time allotted. The looking back, the creating of bullet points, the summing up of the last 2 years was powerful beyond words.
Blackaby & King would call it taking a spiritual inventory of your life and identifying spiritual markers. I call it a gift and a blessing straight from God. Taking the emotion and angst out of the equation and focusing on facts showed me clearly, finally, once and for all, that I am right where God wants me to be.
If you find yourself in a waiting period right now or are questioning whether or not you are on the right path you are not alone. To me it feels like wearing an itchy wool sweater, 2 sizes too small, when it is 95 degrees and humid. Know that there is a purpose to the wait and that God can handle our questions. Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to, “Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways (we are to) acknowledge Him, and He will make our paths straight.”
Precious Father – Thank you for the journey, for the good parts and for the bad. May we build an ever-deepening relationship with you through the study of your Word and through regular conversation in prayer. Reveal yourself to us Lord through your Holy Spirit. Amen