In Two Steps Forward: A Story of Persevering in Hope by Sharon Garlough Brown, one of the main characters has spent so much of her life ceaselessly trying to find ways to understand God’s will for her life and dedicates so much of who she is to try to live what she believes the Lord would want. In a moment of clarity she says, “Then it hit me. I was putting all of my confidence in MY ability to hear God, instead of placing confidence in HIS desire to speak in a way I could understand. It seemed like such a simple thing, but it was life-changing. Huge paradigm shift. Like a big burden was lifted off of me, and I began to relax a bit. Putting confidence in my ability to hear God places the burden of responsibility on me. Putting confidence in his ability and desire to speak to me places the burden on him. He knows me well enough to know what will catch my attention.”
Seeing myself in this character, these words had a great effect on me. As I pondered them, I began to laugh. A lover of story and a teacher of literature for thirty years, what better way was there for God to speak to me but through the voice of a character in a novel? Not only did the concept make sense to me, but I was a personally being spoken to at the same time!
We spend so much time searching for God, for His words and His call, and somehow forget that He wants a relationship with us as much as we want a relationship with Him. Loving us as much as He does and knowing our frailties so intimately, it makes perfect sense that He would help us along the way.
Isn’t it silly that we say our God is pure love and is all-knowing, and yet it doesn’t dawn on us that He would be by our sides to help us as we struggle along no matter where we are in our lives and in our spiritual journeys?
Thank you God, as always, for not leaving us alone in this unpredictable world amidst evil as well as good. Thank you for taking us where we are and guiding us to a place of relationship with you and the sustaining power of your love.