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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Listening to God while the Bugs are Biting

I wonder if anyone else is as stubborn as I am? All my life, I've had to learn things the hard way. Ya'd think that after all those hard lessons I would have learned to do it the easy way, but no. Not me. Not the one who tends to think she can handle it All by herself.
I teach a young adult Sunday School class at CrossPointe Church of the Nazarene, and one of the things we've been discussing lately is, "How do you hear the voice of God?" "How does He talk to us today?" For each of us, it may be different...like through the words of a song, or a scripture you keep hearing over and over, a series of pennies or rocks that you find that look like a heart, a person you respect or a mentor speaking to you, or something life-changing that you cannot ignore and that is cast upon you only by God's grace. I don't know what it is for you, but I know I have clearly heard His voice in a variety of ways. Sometimes, though, I don't listen. Sad, but true. God is NOT One to be ignored though. And this is just one example of what He did to make sure I not only heard Him, but get His message. And clearly.
This past weekend, I was camping with some friends from church. As my husband went off to play horseshoes with some of the guys, one of my friends approached me and began a conversation. First, let me tell you that this person is thankfully, a "tell-it-like-it-is" person. While sitting there fighting off bugs who were threatening to bite and listening to my dear friend, I heard the Lord speak. He was telling me that I was doing too much, and not being adequate at anything because I had overextended myself. This is something I knew in the back of my mind, but had chosen to ignore. My sweet friend helped me to realize that, because of my inability to say no when asked to do something coupled with my controlling nature, I was overextending myself. It really hit home.
If that were not enough, at church the next day, reality hit me like a freight train. I had my hands in so many pots on this particular Sunday that I had accidentally neglected a few important things. Not on purpose, mind you, but all the same, I hurt some people out of my shortcomings that were, in part, due to "doing too much". I felt awful. I was made to realize, yet again, that I could not control or be a part of everything. My heart was broken. I felt defeated. I felt like I was a failure.
Since then, I have prayed to God and He has graciously given me a peace...and a plan. To rely on Him MORE and LESS on myself. To focus on things He desires to be my focus, not on EVERYTHING!
I am thankful for friends who open your eyes. Thank you, Lord, for sending these people my way. Thank you, Lord, for speaking to me. Forgive me, Lord for not listening when I should have. My prayer is that I would hear You when You whisper, so you don't have to get louder. I know He is refining me, pruning me, and I am so thankful that He cares enough to do so.

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