(Originally posted on 15th January 2013)
I thought I heard God. Nothing loud. Nothing clear. But a tiny, quiet whisper, almost drowned out with the noise of the traffic.
'What if the blur that stood between you and your fixed destination mattered to me?' I thought of the people in the cars, heading out to collect the kids from school, going to the shops, carrying out their work, visiting friends.
Waiting for the lights to change, I thought: Was God reminding me that there was a hurting world out there, that can so often be forgotten about as we focus on our own plans and purpose? Had I become a bit preoccupied with my own desires at the expense of those around me? We are told to go into the world, make disciples, teach, correct, love and serve others - had I lost sight of this?
The lights remained the same. My thoughts concerned me. Had my life become too much about me?
And still I stood, staring into the distance. And then I thought I heard God. Nothing loud. Nothing clear. But a tiny, quiet whisper, almost drowned out with the noise of the traffic.
'What if the blur that stood between you and your fixed destination remained firm in my hands and would continue without you?' I thought of the people in the cars and their determination to arrive at their own destination, whatever that may be. And the likelihood of this happening without me interfering.
Still waiting for the lights to change, I thought: Was God reminding me that He is in control, not me. Had I become a bit too preoccupied with what goes on around me - in my family, in church, in the community - at the expense of taking time out and enjoying God's presence? Even Jesus at times withdrew from 'stuff' to spend time with his Father.
The lights remained the same. And again, my thoughts concerned me. Had my life become too much about my 'doing' - my involvement in what goes on around me?
The lights changed and I continued my journey. Confusion! Had God spoken to me? Had he dropped a few simple thoughts into my mind and heart to teach, challenge and develop me? I want to say 'yes' - but would that be foolish? After all they seem to be in conflict with each other! Could God be nudging me to focus more on those around me AND take more time out to spend with him?
God's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path and yet it seems to illuminate two different directions! How can I walk both paths at once?
* Sunday night I experienced the same. A pulling in two different directions. Unsure which way to turn.
I should pray for God's will. 'Your Kingdom come, your will be done ...' He sees the big picture, of course I should pray for God to have his way, his will, to do what he wants in the situation. For his plan and purpose to be fulfilled.
But I wanted him to hear my heart's desire and that of so many others. That is okay isn't it? 'Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart' Please God, please.
But what if, on this occasion, these two approaches weren't in harmony? What if God's will and my desire were in conflict with each other? What then?
Could I be so bold as to focus on the story of the persistent widow and try to 'change' God's mind? God, I really want this to happen. You can do it. You can perform a miracle. You can restore health. You are a powerful and loving God. Surely you hear the cries of our heart?
Frustration, disappointment, pain, anger ... but deep down, the underlying truth is that I know God knows best.
What can we do when we are caught in the middle of a laser show with lights directing us in many different directions? I don't have the answer. I struggle with it. I can see 'A' makes sense - I can see 'B' makes sense. Neither go directly against scripture and both seem right.
But I do believe that God directs the path of the righteous and to me that speaks of movement. A path goes somewhere. So, I guess the only wisdom I can offer in situations like these is to pick a path and see where it takes you and trust that God will direct each step until you are walking in his perfect plan for your life.
Sometimes it is true that both or all directions are right, it's just a matter of balance and keeping God involved and being prepared to change direction when he tells us to! Maybe that is what God was saying to me at the crossing?
And perhaps on Sunday night it was more about being persistent in prayer, in dwelling with the Creator God, than choosing the 'correct' approach? I will still pray and I will still believe!
(Updated) * That Sunday we prayed for a beautiful young woman and much loved friend Sam Yates to receive a miracle in the form of new lungs. Sadly, this didn't happen and on the 14th April 2013 Sam lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Beautiful Sam is now breathing easy, and dancing around in the presence of her Saviour Jesus. Whilst she is and always will be so incredibly missed, we still have to believe that God knows best. This is hard. But the legacy that Sam left will change lives here on earth. She fought hard and selflessly to raise awareness of organ donation, in order to significantly increase the life span and quality of others. Two years on and that legacy still continues in many different ways - (one of which is a short documentary called 'A Love Worth Giving' directed by James Newton - please check it out - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jamesnewton/a-love-worth-giving )
She really was a unique individual whose short life will always impact this world! Help raise organ donation awareness - sign the register and speak to your loved ones about it.
Sam, your love, your trust in Jesus, and your passion for life has and always will be an inspiration xx