After I had prayed the “I will say yes to You God but You’re going to have to come after me because I don’t know where to find You!” prayer, I trudged home and forgot about it.
Meanwhile, without my knowledge, my friend cut a small piece of blue glass into a triangle shape about four inches high and two inches wide at the bottom. She stood the triangle in her east window. When the sun shone through it in the morning and she espied the little patch of blue in her living room, she would pause to pray for me.
Months passed. One day, out of the blue, I got a call. A friend of a friend had heard that I might be a good speaker so would I fly to Ontario and speak at their women’s retreat several months hence? I was stunned by the request and my first inclination was to refuse. After all, what could I possibly say that would be worth the expense of my travel? Suddenly I remembered my “deal” with God and with great fear and trepidation said, “Yes.” I hung up the phone and wondered if I had lost my mind!
The event organizer sent me details via email over the ensuing weeks. The first email I received was short and obviously rushed. “I don’t have my Bible or my notes in front of me but I think the scripture is Psalm 56:1.” I turned to that verse: Be merciful to me O God for men hotly pursue me… I grinned at the humor of the obvious misquote. I knew in my heart that she had mixed up the numbers and the scripture was Psalm 51:6: Surely you desire truth in the inner parts. Just a coincidence, I thought.
The phone rang a few weeks later with another invitation. Would I be the keynote speaker for a national women’s event to be held in four provinces over four months? Let me say again, I had spoken only rarely up to this point – once per year at most. Suddenly two requests one after another arrived — out of the blue. Remembering my promise, I said yes, and again, wondered if I should have my head examined!
The event organizer called me and told me the theme: “Restoring Joy.” The scripture was Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me (Psalm 51:12). This was uncanny, but I had heard of lightning striking twice in the same place so I was still skeptical. Can you believe it?
As the time approached for my talks, I grew desperate and called out God. “We’ve got a deal here,” I railed. “I said yes. I did my part. You’d better come through with a message!” Silence. I read Psalm 51 over and over and over. Hearing no clear direction, I sensed that God probably wanted me to tell the truth about my wilderness. This scared the liver right out of me.
At the first event, I spoke four times. The first three talks I just kept them laughing. Finally on the last day, I tagged on the truth about my wilderness journey. I told them I had been there for several years, that I wasn’t sure how I got there, or how to find the way out. Then I told them that God was pursuing me. He hadn’t abandoned me. There was hope. (Excerpt From Faking it to Finding Grace)
And that was the beginning of my journey out of wilderness and into a new experience of walking with God, a journey of continued learning, change, and surprise.
What can you do if you are in the same dry place?
- Talk to Him and ask Him to come after you. (He already is but you can’t see it until you open yourself to it)
- Tell Him you will say yes to whatever you think He might be saying (very scary but He will help you)
- When something happens out of the blue, realize it is no coincidence. It is God throwing you a lifeline. Grab it and go forward. (and stay tuned as we continue this blog series about spiritual dryness)
2 thoughts on “When things happen out of the blue, look up.”
It is 3 o’clock in the morning and i see that pic of you enjoying a cookie and now i want a cookie but dont have any in the house. (Probably a good thing) 😉 This post is my husband right now. We are both bargaining with God to show us who he is. Help us get rid of our fake gods and give us the real God who gave us Jesus. Seeking him and crying out to him on behalf of my husband right now and so glad God knows that I needed to search for the real God before my husband could because we would lose him completely if we both were in the same dry place at the same time. Our God is good and he does know what we need. Him!
Thanks for reminding me of that with this post and when you spoke to us last October.
What is it about 3 a.m.??? That is the hour that seems to grab us when we are hurting or worried or scared. I feel your pain and pray that your search brings the God-connection you both need. Following God can sometimes be very hard! I don’t think that message is very popular so we don’t hear it much. But the truth is there are hard times, lean times, dry times, discouraging times, empty times, times of doubt…. The beautiful thing is that during all those times God never stops pursuing us. As we look for Him and serve others by saying little yeses (an unbeatable combination) we will catch glimpses of Him and His work. Even when we feel abandoned, God is looking for ways to open our eyes and ears to His work. I know this all sounds so nebulous and we want a 3-step foolproof plan to Bring God Back! I don’t know of any plan Angie. All I know is that our dry times do not need to be wasted because we can use them as a place to learn and to help others who are/will be in the same place. We can offer hope to others even when our own hope is but a tiny spark! When I said yes to the first request to speak at a Christian women’s event I was so dry I had to talk about the faith I once had because my current faith was lifeless. God used my obedience to bless the audience and to bring me one yes closer to experiencing His presence again. I pray that you and your husband will find your way (His way) forward. Lotsa love, Connie