Learning to Listen the Hard Way

I’ve been hearing from God. Notice I didn’t say that God has been talking to me. I’m pretty sure He’s been talking all along, I probably just wasn’t listening, but something’s changed and now I hear again.

I often recall a story of martyr when I think about missions or doing God’s will. The story goes something like this:
A married man with two young children felt God calling him into the foreign mission field. He was willing to do the work, just not right then. God continued to burden the man and his wife for this work. The man told God, “I can’t go into the foreign mission field. I have two small children of my own to take care of. When they are grown we will go wherever you send us.” God continued to burden the man. The man continued to say “Later.” One morning when leaving for work the man accidentally backed over both children in the driveway. At the children’s funeral he weepingly announced that he and his wife were going into foreign missions.

This story chills me to the bones. This family made an excuse for why they couldn’t do God’s will, so God removed the excuse. I don’t remember what publication this story came from…I don’t know the family’s name. I just know that this retelling has made an impression on me that I will never forget, and yet a lesson I don’t know if I can ever say I’ve truly learned.

I’ve prayed daily, hourly, some days minutely about a situation lately. I don’t think I’ve ever received a clear answer. Chris and I actually don’t agree on how the situation should be handled. I’m just in a state of quandary. I suppose I recently made an excuse for not dealing with the situation. “Since I don’t know what you want me to do God, then I’m not going to do anything because my XXXX needs this and my decision would hurt them.”

I’m not giving any real details here…sorry…the situation just affects too many people. However, the “this” I referred to XXXX needing, well it is all the sudden being removed. It just won’t exist anymore.

Chris and I debated this situation again Tuesday night. We disagree on how to handle it, but neither of us is sure of an answer either. Wednesday morning as I was brushing my teeth pondering the situation yet again, I heard from God.

You said you couldn’t do anything because XXXX needed “this”. I removed “this” from the equation.

You’re kidding? Right? I’ve prayed about this, and prayed about this, and read my Bible looking for an answer and you had to make XXXX suffer in order to tell me what to do???? That’s just wrong! I’ve been earnestly seeking Your will in this situation. You couldn’t find any other way to direct me than this?

Ok, so that seems harsh, but let me also remind you that I’m a realist. God has been telling me how to handle this situation all along. I just didn’t like the answer. Truth be told? I’m still not sure I like the answer. I know Chris doesn’t “like” nor agree with the answer. Guess I’ll have to ask God to make His answer clear to him.

I know regardless of how the situation works out that God has good planned to come from it. I know that He has my, and all other’s involved, best interest at heart. All I have to do is follow where He leads…sometimes that seems harder to do than others, but it always works out.