Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. Hebrews 3:7-9 (Net)
Our family is going through a particularly dark and painful time. Every family does, of course. We continue to thank God that He is….God! We thank Him for what we will glean from this. We can sincerely thank him because we know (from God’s Word and His faithfulness to us through all of our years) that He always “brings good” from even the hardest of places. At the same time, it is painfully hard.
This morning, I was making the bed, and thinking about how we had been praying for wisdom as we make our way through the (sometimes horrifying) maze. I found myself wondering if there was any of this we could have avoided had we been more diligent about not only asking for wisdom before this critical time, but paying attention to the voice of God as He was whispering wisdom and direction in our ears! Had He warned us at this juncture and that? Had we just not heard?
Before this crisis, it has been my habit to pray for wisdom often, yes. I also ask friends for their wisdom and prayers from time to time. Of course, not everyone is walking in my shoes. They might not understand the full scope of what I am going through at the time. But…I want to know what they have to say, to see if it resonates. Then…I might use part of their suggestions or none at all. But I appreciate their willingness to listen and offer suggestions. It helps to know that they care that much!
Do I do that with God? He has walked in my shoes. He understands completely and fully my situation. And yet…do I ask Him for His (perfect) wisdom and then sometimes discard part or all of the cautions and directions He is whispering in my ear? Do I simply not hear what He is saying because I am listening to other voices, including my own? When I do hear what He is saying, do I ignore Him because it is something that would be an inconvenience or a little painful or might bring on the disapproval of those around me? How often do I ignore His still small voice? Do I sometimes miss what He is showing me when His direction is practically in neon lights?
I am so thankful that God extends us mercy and grace and that He goes before us and comes behind us and works even the results of our own carelessness and/or ignorance together for our good and His glory.
Still…do you ever wonder how much of the pain that has come into your life could have been avoided?
Oh God, guard my heart and quiet my self-protecting objections to Your still Small Voice and Your Neon Signs!