My eyes at half mast, my heart in angst, I walked out to my desk in the dark this very early morning. I flipped on the light, able to see but I heard nothing. It is another day of deafening silence.
Why when God has been so present, answering so many of my prayers daily, has He been so painfully quiet in this one are of my life? This one hugely significant area of my life for which I have been seeking wisdom and direction for months, actually years and still I hear nothing. It has taken me to a place of frustration and sometimes anger, testing my faith.
I am simply not good at waiting and I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Last December as I was sitting at a women’s Christmas dinner, the speaker charged us with relinquishing ourselves to God and asking for His direction. I almost laughed, thinking that is all I have been doing for months, but out of obedience I prayed. What came next was an answer I never expected and did not like at all. The answer was, “Barbara, you know what to do.”
Just like a small child throwing an unabashed temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store at prime shopping time, I wanted to stand up in the middle of the prayer-filled quiet room in front of 200+ women and scream at the top of my lungs “Are you kidding me?!!! I have no idea what to do!!!!!”
Over the next several months, my prayers varied from Lord, please… open doors, close doors, make my path crystal-clear, hit me on the head because I am too stupid to see it on my own. Still, the answer has been the same, “You know.”
I have been stuck and being stuck is a horrible place. It is a lonely and degrading place. It is a place ripe with opportunity for self doubt and for the enemy to take hold with that horrible word, “failure.” A place filled with the self talk and whispers of insecurity that drag you down.
I have been hanging on by a thread, pouring through God’s word seeking an answer. God has spoken to me clearly during this time about many things through His word, but not about this. Lately, I have been deep in Psalms, resonating with David and his anguish, feeling his raw emotion of sadness, despair, repentance and praise. It has been uplifting, stirring, healing and comforting but still no answer.
Bleary-eyed and in desperate need of coffee, I sat down at my desk and turned to reach for my bible. I was thwarted by the cat who clearly felt that my bible was a wonderful resting place as he was draped completely across the opened pages.
I am usually not overly fond of the cat, but this morning I was endeared by him. I was also intrigued as I had left my bible opened to Psalm 144-145 but the cat was laying on Psalm 141-143. I gently pulled the bible out from under him, recognizing that this must clearly be a sign from God, my answer!
I scanned the pages. The first verse on the left side, Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Not my answer although one I had memorized and try to hold on to, however unsuccessfully, during times of conflict.
The last verse on right side, Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do your will (turned the page) for you are my god; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” The irony was killing me. I have been praying this diligently for months yet still not an answer.
Then I see it. The verses jump out at me as if in 3D. “But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge – do not give me over to death.” Psalm 141:8
“I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way…” Psalm 142:1-3
It is my answer. Not the one I was looking for, but who am I to put God in a box. The answer is so much simpler. When God says “You know” he is not telling me to pull the solution out of some deep, and I do mean deep, recess in my mind to fulfill the need which I have let consume me for a very, very long time.
He is telling me that I am to lay my complaint, my unabashed, weary, sleepless, fear-filled anxiety at his feet, ask for mercy in all humility and then fix my eyes on Him and rest in him for He knows the way and that is all I need. He is telling me to let go and let him drive. I am fine where I am.
It sounds so “Christianese”, so placating. I am sure that if someone had actually said this to me instead of God displaying it for me in such a peculiar way, I probably would have smiled to their face and festered in unholy thoughts.
I love that God knows me so well he used a goofy cat who somehow managed to turn the page and take a rest (get the irony!) on my bible. He knows and loves you that much too. Join me in laying it all at His feet, resting in Him because He knows the way and that is all that matters!