February 19, 2015

Father knows best

I was asked to speak at a rally near our state capitol orchestrated by a few teachers’ organizations.  One group in particular asked me to be its representative and deliver a speech on behalf of its members.  It is an organization near and dear to my heart dealing with teachers and state benefits.  I spoke at a rally they put together on the state capitol steps around this time last year shortly after they formed.  So when I was asked to speak again, there was no hesitation; I wanted to help.  I had the day off from work (we’re on winter break), and I knew the local daycare could watch the girls, because hubby would be working, so I said yes.
 
The speech was sent to me, and after I revised and edited it somewhat, I practiced it.  Despite my nervousness and being way out of my comfort zone (I teach high school English for crying out loud, not how to talk politics!), I was going to deliver this speech as best I could!

Even after all my preparation to give this speech, I still felt uneasy about my trip into the city.  Truly, I’m an introvert (believe it or not), and thoughts of meeting new people and of discussing political topics were making my stomach ache.  I reached out to others and asked them to pray for me.  And then I prayed.  I prayed in the words of Proverbs chapter three…

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I prayed, “Lord, you know what I’m going to do tomorrow.  I’m going to speak and try to help those that are being treated unjustly.  God I need your blessing.  I need you to make my path straight.  Be in this endeavor and in these words I speak tomorrow.”

I asked for God to give me strength, boldness, and courage.

Then, the night before I was to give the speech, an ice storm hit. And while the icy weather didn’t seem to be adversely affecting the roadways, the ice began to coat everything else: including trees and power lines.  Soon, our power went out.  And then, it was reported that the power at the daycare was out. And the morning I was to go into the capitol, the daycare director announced they would be closed for the day.  Suddenly, I had no one to watch my girls so I could go give the speech!

And just as suddenly, due to work closures because of the weather, the Lord made it possible for someone else to go instead of me.

And while my introverted self breathed a sigh of relief, I was left feeling stunned.

I had prayed for a straight path to be made. I had acknowledged Him - I was going to do a good and noble thing in His name, as He is always the reason I put myself out there for causes like this.  So why not facilitate this, Lord?  Why give this task to another?  I was willing! Scared to death, but willing.

Why not me?!

And I heard Him say, “Trust in Me, with all your heart.  Lean not on your own understanding.”
   
I can’t claim to fully understand why I was deterred from speaking at this rally; however, I do feel as if I received a bit of a revelation from this experience:

Although you may be willing and ready to help, and the cause is noble, you may not be the one He wants to use.

There have been other moments in my life where I have seen that truth played out.  I have this desire to help whenever and wherever there is a need, if at all possible, but there have been plenty of times when God has deterred me from doing so.  Times when God tells me, "No."

And although I am initially disappointed that I couldn't have been the one to satisfy a need or provide relief for someone who is struggling, it never fails that I see God use someone else mightily to fill that void. 

And all is well.  And I hear Him say, “Trust me.”

And I heard Him say, “I haven’t called you to this.  Rest. There will be times when I call you to act. Rest until then.”

It’s hard for a doer to rest.  But I’m learning there are times we are called to simply just do that - rest in Him.  To be still and know that He is God.

And truth be told, I need more of that – physical and spiritual rest - in my life right now.  So in hindsight,  I can confidently say that my Father knew what was best when He deterred me from giving that speech.  Truly, my Father always knows best!

sacred, holy flame
mighty, unshakable God
my refuge, my rest

Today's forget-me-not:  Trust that God has everything under control.  Follow His lead. Therein lies true joy!

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