The question that I didn’t post yesterday was, “What truth can we help you remember?” Think about that for a while. What do you know to be true but when difficulty, stress, loneliness, etc comes you default to a lie?
The most common response to that at our family weekend was some form of, “I need help remembering God will show up or come through at the right moment.”
At the heart of our worry that God won’t show up or come through is the fear that he either untrustworthy, he has lost track of us, or he just doesn’t care.
Even in spite of marrying my best friend and favorite person in the world, the move to Bentonville has been challenging. My first job was at the Parks & Recreation Dept. I liked it but it was only part time. As savings dwindled, and I mean really dwindled, I was stressed and wasn’t sure what to do vocationally.
For the last 3-4 years my ultimate desire has been to work with pastors and leaders. Most of the coaching out there is church growth driven. There is a need for that but I’m more suited for and passionate about spiritual direction and developing the heart within the leader. So Krista and I began to pray, “Is this the time to keep the part time parks job and launch out into consulting adventure by faith? Or is this a season when I do something completely different? You have to make this clear!”
That sounds good and was the right way to pray, but honestly, I was also saying, “God, I feel like Joseph. Everybody has forgotten me and so have you!” Basically saying, “You’ve lost track of me.” After a couple weeks of praying together specifically and systematically about this, Krista got a text from someone in town about my interest in a job. That was on a Friday. Saturday I reviewed my resume. Sunday I emailed it. Monday I interviewed. Tuesday I was offered the job. Just like we’d asked, God made it clear that for now ministry would look different. Weekend retreats, a handful of spiritual direction/consulting clients, and one camp next summer is about all I can handle.
Please don’t hear me saying that if you just pray correctly, with the right words, in a certain way everything will turn out rosey. If you know me at all you know I’ve had very non-rosey periods of life. What I am saying is God is trustworthy, he knows where you are, and he does care.
Isaiah said it much better:
Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “ God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. (Isaiah 40:27-31 MSG)
Suggestions for fighting the “Where are You” fight:
- Tell God exactly what you think and how you feel about his silence, he can take it
- Put his assurances from scripture (like the one above) back on him
- Find ways to remind yourself that God is trustworthy he knows where you are, and he does care (post-it notes are underrated)