Well, I have to admit I’ve tossed around several ideas for a post this week and I just think the Lord has decided to leave me hangin’ on this one. I usually have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head and by Sunday or Monday I have a pretty clear picture about what it will be. Not this week!
Started one. Had several good points. Even wrote an outline and then BAM….nothing. Absolutely nada! Rein! Nanimo! ‘Ayin! NOTHING!
I’ve said before how I feel the Lord leads me to a topic to write about each week and so far it’s worked out great, at least for me. Well, not this week!
I even tried to find a way out. I thought maybe I could just tell you all it was a crazy week and I didn’t have the time. Nope. That was the enemy talkin’!
Then, as I was debating Him (like we can “debate” Him! Ha!) about what I was suppose to write, I finally heard, “Remember when Pastor Matt spoke during 21 Days of Prayer and he talked about how he and his wife waited until I spoke to them about having children? Do you remember the ‘ah-ha’ moment you said you had when he told that story? Well, that’s what you should write about.”
Really? I’m writing a blog about LISTENING to Your voice, not about what to do when you don’t want to talk to us. (She says with a droopy head and sad face.) Plus, that story Pastor Matt told took YEARS to unfold! Are you really gonna make me wait years to hear from you? It was not sounding good folks! I was getting a little worried.
Then I thought about Pastor Matt’s story and had a lightbulb moment. I realized there are things we can DO when we’re NOT hearing from God and we need to know those things just as much as we need to know what to do when He IS speaking to us. So, here goes…..
I said, “Okay. If that’s what you REALLY want, then, ok, I’ll write about it.” I created the cute opening graphic in about 10 minutes (Canva, my new addiction for creating graphics!). Wrote this opening in another 5-10 and then nothing. (Hear the crickets? I do. Okay, it’s the fan circulating above my bed. Same dif!) So, I’m going to bed.
Good Morning! Well, I got a good night’s sleep, rolled over at 6 AM to have my pre-prayer time. (I LOVE those first few moments when I wake up and immediately have a few moments with the Lord! I give Him thanks for another day and ask Him to nudge me out of the bed for that first cup of coffee.)
First cup of coffee in hand and I got an idea for the president’s message for an art ed organization’s newsletter that I was suppose write last weekend. Ugh! No words of wisdom for the blog post this morning Lord? Nothing?
Actually that’s not totally true. Before I went to bed last night, I did hear/read about checking your heart when you don’t think you’re hearing from Him. Point 1. Then during our prayer time this morning, Tom said something about struggles, failing, and learning. Point 2. And then I was reminded of things He has shown me before. Point 3. BAM! Three points to share!
What CAN we DO while we wait?
First, watch and listen to this awesome song by John Waller! I forgot it was in the Fireproof movie. Love this song!
Three things we CAN DO:
1-Check Our Hearts
Yes, I “Googled” hearing God’s voice (don’t judge!) and one of the first things that resonated with me was checking our hearts.
- Where am I with Him right now?
- Have I been steadfast in my prayer life? (We just came out of 21 days of prayer! What the what?)
- Have I truly been “purposeful” in my prayers?
- Have I STOPPED and LISTENED for His response during my prayer time?
2-Analyze Our Struggles
Think back over times you’ve struggled and what you learned from those experiences.
- When have I struggled to find solutions to issues in the past?
- What happened in the middle of that struggled?
- What happened at the end of that struggle?
- What did I learn from that experience?
3-Learn From Lessons
This is similar to analyzing your struggles, but this point looks at a time when you learned something brand new, not when you are struggling with something you already know. Look at times you’ve learned something new (either from the Lord showing you something or another person teaching you something) and what you learned from that experience.
- When did I learn something new?
- Why did I learn it? (Work requirement or personal growth?)
- Who taught me this new thing? (The Lord himself or did He connect you with others who knew how to teach you?)
- Once I learned this new lesson, how did it help me in my life?
- What can I do now that I’ve learned this new thing?
So here’s what I found when I asked myself these questions:
Checking my heart: I have been consistent with my prayer life, but I have NOT been purposeful and I have NOT stopped and listened.
You’re probably thinking, “If you’ve been consistent then how were you not purposeful?” I think we can get in a routine where we’re just going through the motions and maybe that’s what I’ve done, even through the 21 Days of Prayer. I was so consumed with getting the art prompts out I was just going through the motions of praying. I didn’t really dig in and pray with a purpose. And I couldn’t see that until AFTER the 21 days were over!
I also think when we’re waiting, we can pray for breakthroughs for others. When we pray for others, it makes our issues seem so trivial. Can I get an Amen on that one!
Analyzing my struggles: Past, and present, struggles tend to get me down, at least for a little while. In the middle of a struggle I often think there is no way out, but I’ve learned to seek the Lord’s will. If He’s going to supernaturally “fix” the issue, great! But if He’s teaching me something, I need to take note and realize what “it” is. What does He want me to learn as I’m in the middle of this struggle?
Learn from lessons: I realized this whole blogging thingy has been my “newest” lesson. (Along with a new ebook platform at work! All computer/techie stuff. Not really my thing.) I feel like He led me here and directed me every step of the way, so maybe He IS releasing me to fly solo for this post. If you’re really paying attention, you’ll see He led me to and through this post too!
During my Googling last night (is that really a verb?) I ran across something new. (ah-ha! A new lesson!) It’s something called the Dark Night of the Soul or the Dark Night Psalms. Evidently the Psalms 13, 42, 46, 59, 77, 88, 92, 143 are considered the “Dark Night” ones. It’s basically a time when you don’t think you’re hearing from the Lord and you’re waiting.
Although I ultimately did hear from the Lord during this struggle of writing a post this week, the Dark Night Psalms will be a great reminder for the next time I’m waiting. The Soul Shepherding website describes these times as feeling “spiritually dry and distant from God”. The author also describes it as a time of “trial” where God is working to deepen our journey of dependence on Him.
Light bulb moment! That’s EXACTLY what He’s doing in me! I need to dig in and not just go through the motions. I need to really look at my past struggles and what I learned by surviving all of those. And, I need to search through the lessons He’s leading me through RIGHT NOW and understand what He’s trying to teach me.
Ta-da! Post written and hopefully with some helpful tips. You may not be where I am at this moment, but maybe you’ll remember this post and my three ah-ha points to get you through your next Dark Night of the Soul. Come on girl, you know you’re gonna have one! We all do as one time or another.
What do you do when you think God’s leaving you hangin’? What do you do while waiting? Tips? Ideas? Prayers? Would love for you to share what you do. Please leave us a comment below.
If you missed our 21 Days of Prayer and Art Challenge, jump over and see some of the cool artworks and prompts we created during August.
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Until next week……I will pray for God to lead me to another topic and another post. I will also pray for you as you go about your week, the struggles you will face, and for the blessing coming your way!
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.