- Sometimes I’m hard of hearing. Which is why I love when patterns and themes appear in my hectic life, God gently repeating affections and direction to my too often inattentive mind. Knowing that I am pulled in so many directions – papers to write, meals to be made, babies to be held, relationships to be cultivated – and that it’s all too easy for me to miss Him, He gently repeats themes to my heart as many times as it takes. “I am here. I am with you…”
This often happens when I’m anxious or feeling unsure, doubting myself, or the steps that I take. Just in case I might miss Him, God whispers again and again until I finally turn my attention his way. Lessons in my upper-level business classes will closely mirror an encouraging message at church, or a conversation with my baby sister will repeat exact phrases that I’ve just read or heard in a song. My husband will speak sentiments, or my 4-year-old son will pray words so closely addressing my unspoken fears that I finally identify the voice that desires but does not demand my focus.
“Yes. I’ll stay with you, I’ll protect you wherever you go, and I’ll bring you back to this very ground. I’ll stick with you until I’ve done everything I promised you.” Genesis 28:15 (The Message)
Recently, I was offered a job at our church. I wasn’t looking for a job, or even wanting one. I’ve been home with our small boys for the last three years and, though I want to work again at some point, I planned on being home until they were in school. When this job came up, though, my husband and I prayed… and prayed and prayed. We really felt like this opportunity was from God, so I accepted it. I kept on worrying, though. How would we find or afford childcare? What if our schedules didn’t work out? What if I fail, or I can’t be what the church wants me to be?
It took me a couple weeks before my stubborn heart finally identified a pattern, God’s voice reassuring and encouraging me. In my Innovative Management course my professor reminded our class that, “Though we put in the work, make the spreadsheets, think of all potential problems and solutions… sometimes God prompts us to make decisions that just don’t make worldly sense.” My grandmother and sister offered to watch the boys, the best possible scenario in my mind – family members that know and love them. Schedules fell easily into place and the work felt like second-nature. And finally, twice in one week I read these words in Genesis, God encouraging Jacob and making promises to all of us:
“Yes. I’ll stay with you, I’ll protect you wherever you go, and I’ll bring you back to this very ground. I’ll stick with you until I’ve done everything I promised you.”
Why was I so astonished that God had taken care of everything? If I was confident that this job was from God, why wouldn’t everything fall into place? Of course he’d work out the details, provide the means.
So often it’s easy for me to become distracted, to lose sight of who I am and why I do what I do. But I am thankful that my Father gently, but relentlessly pursues me… determined that I not forget who He is and how he cares for me. And I recognize that I need to work on my listening skills…