Have you ever been caught doing something at work that you shouldn’t have? Sometimes your boss catches you and sometimes you get away with it. When God’s your boss, he has an interesting way of reminding you of what you should be focusing on.
Wednesday wasn’t a good day. Besides the constant rain from this interesting ‘drought’ we’re having (yes, I know it’s about replenishing groundwater levels); I was mired in my own personal slough of despond. During March, I’d had an almost crystal-clear vision of what God was asking me to do. But by Wednesday I was starting to think that I must have dreamt it up after too much late-night cheese. So I clicked open a new tab and googled a word I haven’t googled in an awful long time – since the back end of the last century in fact.
Two things happened then: A person came into the office and the telephone rang. Not very surprising given that I work in a church office, it happens all the time. But it’s who the callers were that was the important thing.
A few weeks ago after the morning service, I went for prayer and spoke to Karen and Ann who were on the prayer ministry team that day. I shared with them what I felt God was calling me do to. They told me that it sounded exactly the sort of thing that God would ask me to do, they could see I was the right person for it given my experience and talents and they were every bit as excited about it as I was. So, it’s significant then that my Google search was interrupted by Karen walking through the door and very soon after by Ann ringing me.
Karen felt concerned about me; I’d been on her heart. Karen is one of my prayer partners and I know that if something or someone is on her heart, that it’s been placed there by no other person than God. She was very firm with me, which was unlike Karen and interestingly, my head didn’t want to hear it, it shied away from her words. It wasn’t anything outlandish, she was simply repeating what I’d said to her that day after the service. As Karen was leaving, the phone rang and it was Ann. She’d been reading a devotional that morning and she thought it applied to me. I had the book at home and promised that I’d look it up later. Again, if Ann feels that something is for you, then you ignore that at your peril. As I finished the call I gave a wry smile; something told me that God had just sent his ‘enforcers’ round. I’d fallen into questioning things, over-thinking it, looking at my life and asking ‘well, what about this?’
Reading the devotional entry was shocking. Right there were those exact words ‘well, what about this?’ The piece was talking about Jeremiah 45:5 and our lives being given to us as a prize. I’d felt increasingly unsettled all week; I’d spent most of it unhappy, not sure which way to go, not sure if I’d heard God correctly and not sure that I even had the skills to do what I’d been asked to do. I’d started to drift and I’d started to think that my future lay on another path.
At the moment where I’d put my foot on that other path, God sent two key people to stop me wandering off, to remind me of what he wanted me to do and gently guide me back onto the correct path.
Not surprisingly, where the start of the week was marked by upset, the rest of the week has been bathed in a peace that I know can only be explained by me being at the centre of God’s will.
I’m where God wants me and I have a job to do. It’s important that I stop asking the ‘what about this’ question about bits of my life because God has already answered that. Was it in the ‘vision’ he gave me? No. Then it’s not part of his plan for my life. Well, not yet anyway – I’m discovering that you never say never with God. As Oswald Chambers the writer of the devotional Ann had pointed me to, says; I need to abandon myself to God, surrender everything to him and receive back my life as a prize. I don’t want to get to some great celestial place of repose to find Jim Bowen stood there saying, ‘Rachel, this is what you could have won.’
Just because I’ve been put back on the path doesn’t mean that I’m any clearer to knowing how this ‘encouraging women’ is all going to unpack; but I do know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. So I’d better go out and do that. Unless I need to stay right here and do that?
I don’t know…