We all wander. I would argue that I am more prone than most, and I have seen enough of the world to know that I am definitely not alone. Wander. There are lots of meanings to the term and I hope to explore them more as this blog develops. In the future I will probably do the whole “obligatory introduction blog post” and fill you in on why I have chosen to begin a blog, but for now I am going to take right off (travel reference was kind of intentional)!
Before we begin this relationship (that’s how I like to think of this) you should know that I love to travel. Not a very uncommon characteristic, but important, nonetheless. I would attribute my love for traveling to my strength of adaptability. I have always loved options and spent many countless hours daydreaming about the possibilities my life is headed. Not surprisingly, it’s an on-going conversation I have with God too.
For Christmas, I went to see my family in Illinois and spent some time reflecting on what my next step may be—begging God to point me in the “right” direction.
During the car ride back to Texas I was thinking about how I feel like God has been quiet each time I ask for some direction regarding His plans for my life. I cried thinking about how I felt abandoned and misguided. Then, I was reminded of a piercing question a friend asked recently about how I was viewing God’s character during this whole process. I was especially convicted regarding my perspective on His faithfulness to me as His child.
Monday morning, I was reading this blog and thought this paragraph was EXACTLY what I needed to hear at this time:
“In the Scriptures, God’s voice seems to be silent at times. Before Samuel becomes a prophet, it is said that ‘the voice of the Lord was rare’ in those days. The time between the New and Old Testaments is often referred to as “the 400 years of silence.” During those times, people were tempted to believe God had abandoned or forgotten them, but we know in those silent times, God was preparing the people for something incredible.” -Jeff Goins
WOW! As I reflect on the past year and look with anticipation to the new one, I am amazed to think that even in His silence God has been preparing me. I’m not waiting around with twiddling thumbs and no hope, but I pray that I am filled with joy and peace as He makes me an active participant in this period of rest and waiting!
For years I have been convicted about my tendency to speak before listening and my habit of interrupting others. I have prayed and prayed and kept praying that God would make me different; that somehow I would be less apt to talk and more available to listen. Though I believe I am nowhere near where I want to be, I feel He has been faithful to me as He continues to mold me to look more like Jesus and He has helped me to really see that being an active listener is loving people well. Though I have grown in terms of listening to others, I don’t think I was ever consciously realizing all of these things MUST be true for my relationship with God.
Maybe He is calling me to STOP. “Slow down,” I hear Him gently whisper as I hurry thru another day of reading my Bible. As I try to fit it in some spiritual disciplines between work and some social activity. “Embrace the quiet!” seems to be the only command I have heard from Him in months. And, to be honest, I have ignored it. I have misunderstood His command to wait and listen as some sign of His unfaithfulness or lack of love. But, today, I see it as the complete and total picture of a loving Father.
Only someone completely and utterly in love with me would invite me to join Him in the process of making me new and teaching me to listen (to His voice and ultimately to others)! What a wonderful picture of His practical love. When so many dads are worried with what their children can bring to the table, my Father is telling me to crawl into His lap and concern myself with learning dependence on Him. He doesn’t want me to be independent or ‘grown’. Maybe it is how I was raised or my ‘independent’ nature, but this week that thought is one of the most comforting ones I have ever heard.
Yes, I am prone to wander. I am “prone to leave the God I love”, but He is faithful! And good! and even in my wanderings, He is binding my heart to His.