In the most recent of days, I have marveled at what enormous energy it takes to convince a toddler to do what you want them to do. To encourage her to cooperate and follow-through on a request can be … well, exasperating. Obviously her understanding of a win-win situation is very different from mine.
Maybe it’s all in the inability to see that someone who loves her and knows more than she is looking out for her best interests. Is there the remote possibility that someone greater and more knowledgeable could foresee the detriment of her doing her own thing?
Sound familiar, Girlfriend?
Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message
I’ll be first in line to admit that I am really proficient — at not always getting this precept right — and especially when it really matters. If I could be so bold as to be forthright in my confession and be transparent with you, sweet Sister, that I’ve mastered messing up — a lot. I don’t say this in an attempt to gain the applause and approval of the world — that’s not my tribe. My unveiling of piles of messes could probably circle the earth several times over — some of those messes are unknown to others (at least, I hope they are), and some are so embarrassingly highlighted in my memory that I can recall all the vivid details as if they happened yesterday.
Trusting GOD from the bottom of my heart — sometimes that just takes every fiber of my being. Why? Because I tend to think that I am a reasonable woman with some fairly good foundation for knowing what’s the best thing for me. After all, living all these decades I should have gained some wisdom along the way. The problem with me thinking for me is that my knowledge is still oh, so limited by what I have learned; my mind is unable to think ahead for my better outcome — it’s just not in me to go there. But GOD, being Eternal, has already gone there for me. And He has determined that what He has purposed from the beginning of time will come to pass.
Listen for GOD’s voice in everything I do and everywhere I go — in order for me to hear His Voice, I must silence the noise around me. The distractions from people (and their opinions — even with the best intentions, they are not equal to or above GOD), the Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter chatter (that appears to agree with my flawed and biased perspective) — is still yet sourced from popular thought and not necessarily what GOD wants me to consider when it concerns specific matters of the heart and soul. Being able to listen for GOD’s Voice requires me to be close and sitting still. That’s where the wonder of communion through prayer works its miracles. I am transformed in the listening to The Holy Spirit.
He promises me that He is the one that will keep me on track. Better and more efficient than any organizational or project management tool known to (wo)man, The Lord will keep me moving forward on the right track.
At the end of the day, isn’t that what I want?
I mean let’s face it, Sister, who on this planet would elect to run around in circles trying desperately to figure out which way to go (or how and when and with whom), when we have direct access to The One Who has it already mapped out to our advantage? Who has the energy or time for that? Sadly, we do tend to choose the wrong route — because it is (pridefully) our route. Hence, we waddle around in the muck of a mess, frustrated and half out of our minds — trying to find our way out. When we could have trusted GOD from the start. After so many feeble attempts, how long before we finally realize it isn’t working?
Looking to some of the lives of the women that I truly admire and hold in high regard for their internal strength and reliance on GOD — Rahab, Esther, Ruth, and Naomi. All of these godly women have something in common: when GOD said follow and trust me, they all said, ‘yes.’ And to really earn that coveted spot in the faith hall of fame, each one of them did not hesitate when answering the Call from GOD to go.
Rahab had just moments to decide whether she would hide the spies. When she did, it was her personal declaration and open demonstration of her faith in the GOD of Abraham. Rahab, known as the prostitute, said ‘yes’ and would later become the mother of Boaz, who eventually marries Ruth. The entire second chapter of the Book of Joshua is dedicated to the details of the courage Rahab exemplifies, and it results in her salvation of her entire family.
Ruth, a recent widow, who had only known life in a pagan country, was being given the opportunity to start life anew and fresh — but this ticket could only be redeemed if she returned to her godless homeland of Moab, where her friends and family resided. It may have been the opportunity that could have lightened her load and guaranteed her both posterity and prosperity. But she had witnessed and experienced the One True GOD through her mother-in-law, Naomi, to the point that she just could not let (Him) go. He was that good. There’s an entire Book of the Bible named after this woman of faith, and the threads of redemption are evident throughout. I encourage you to read it and experience the tapestry — the events unfold as only GOD could have authored it.
Naomi, had lived a very affluent life — at least, up until she lost it all. Husband and both of her sons now gone, she has nowhere to go but back home and face the possible disgrace of becoming destitute. And yet something stirred within her soul to persuade Naomi to keep moving forward. Accompanied by her remaining daughter-in-law, she guides Ruth to her new destiny to eventually become the great grandmother of King David. Naomi didn’t wallow in self-pity — she maintained active mothering and mentoring of Ruth that led to one of the greatest love stories that shows the active work of GOD ‘covering’ the one seeking.
Esther, was an orphan raised by her uncle. Life for a teenage girl I’m sure had some similarities that echo throughout history — desires for having girlfriend relationships, meeting a decent man who becomes your husband and father of your children, and living happily ever after. But with no maternal mentor, I’m sure Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, had to wade through some complicated and challenging stages. Yet, Esther respected and honored her uncle’s directive to be recognized by the royal court when King Xerxes was seeking a new wife. This landmark decision on her part landed her the role as Queen Esther and she saves an entire nation from destruction. Courage to fully use the opportunity GOD had given Esther through her position as Queen, and the intelligence, demeanor and favor poured upon her, resulted in the salvation of an entire race of people. Once again, GOD gives place for a woman of honor and distinction and immortalizes her in the Book that bears her name.
They all said, ‘yes’ to the call of GOD. And none of them had a clue that they would participate in the lineage of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Can we say faith?
Makes me feel really insignificant as I pale in comparison to these beyond-description-acts-of-faith. And you know why I gravitate towards these women? Their past is what would have been considered nothing less than sordid and despicable — worthy of being profiled as undesirable by man’s standards. The less than perfect lives of common women — called out by GOD Almighty, to fulfill a life worth living and to be forerunners of those that follow after them. Judging a book by its cover would definitely not be applicable here. And without all the hoopla of all the social media posts and not one single ‘like.’ I would venture to say that all of these chosen women would likely have been unfriended and blocked in these modern times, for having been on display and living such unpopular lives.
Oh the redeeming love of GOD can do such a restorative work! All that needs to happen is a ‘yes.’
The same goes for me and you.
Just as we beckon a toddler, a child, a teenager, a sister, a friend, a neighbor — to trust us because we see impending danger up ahead — because we’ve (possibly) been there and done that — our Heavenly Father whispers to us to listen to His Voice and to trust Him from the bottom of our heart.
Have you said ‘yes’ to the One Who calls you out by name?
He will turn your mess into a message and your trials into treasures.
You are my hiding place. You will keep me out of trouble and envelope me with songs that remind me I am free. I will teach you and tell you the way to go and how to get there; I will give you good counsel, and I will watch over you. Psalm 32:7-8 The Voice
If anyone understands your struggle to get it right, live right and do all the right things (especially with all eyes on you) — I do. The pursuit to perfect every move, decision, project was driving me insane — and who has time for that when you have three children and a job outside of the home? Worries about what other people will think (about what I think they’re thinking) of the way I keep and decorate my house, my amateur cooking skills, manage my time — all really don’t add up to a hill of beans. Who put this ‘assignment’ upon my shoulders? I picked it up somewhere along the road of perfection — which by the way, is full of potholes, cracks and fissures. My name wasn’t on it, I placed it there. But that is not my purpose nor the intention of my life.
And it certainly is not yours.
If you have said ‘yes’ to the life of endless possibilities and victory through a personal relationship with the GOD Who believes you were worth dying for, then the best awaits you.
So don’t be afraid. I am here, with you; don’t be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, help you. I am here with My right hand to make right and to hold you up. Isaiah 41:10 The Voice.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary