Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Lesson Learned

Alright God, I’m on a time schedule here. The writing project You assigned me needs to be completed. I’ve been working at school all year and it’s been very difficult to begin any writing at night after I’ve prepared supper and cleaned up the dishes. You know how tired I am during the week. Now is the time; school is out for summer. Please help me to “write Your answer” (Habakkuk 2:1-2) as You have instructed.

Those words actually came out of my mouth to God’s ears this summer. It wasn’t a conversation with Him, but my ranting at Him for the delay of His words flowing onto the page. Because of summer vacation from school, I had some free time. I didn’t have to rush off to work. Finally I could write without the usual disruptions. But nothing happened. It felt as if the words got stuck in a tar pit; some people call it “writer’s block.” Little did I know God had a different word for it and soon He showed me.

Several weeks passed and I added only a few words to my manuscript. As I sat outside on our deck one beautiful morning in July and struggled to write, I suddenly decided to put my computer, books, and journals away. Before frustration set in and failing became a belief, I needed to accomplish something, anything, even a small task. So I grabbed the “FURminator” (large yellow deshedding tool) and decided to brush my two dogs. 

“Cooper, come here,” I called as I coaxed my 90 lb. golden retriever to sit on the deck. He willingly obeyed and sat on his hind quarters while I began brushing his yellow-orange hair. “Good boy,” I repeated as I brushed him from head to paws. He only twitched when I ran the brush along his tail. “It’s ok,” I said, “you’re a good boy!” Finished, I thought, and with ease. Now for the little stinker!

The little stinker is my 16 lb. terrier mix (possibly mixed with jack russell because she can jump high off of all fours from a standing position). She loves to run and chase other animals, causing her hearing to be less than perfect. It takes several shouts to get her to obey any commands. “Come here, Lucy,” I firmly said for the third time. She finally crept up beside me. I picked her up, put her between my knees, grabbed one of her legs, and began brushing. She squirmed and wiggled, writhed and slithered. 

“Lucy, be still!” I said rather loudly and for a moment she quit fidgeting. She soon floundered again, anxious to get away from me. “How can I brush you when you won't be still?” I asked anyone who might be listening. God answered me!

“Debbie, are you paying attention to this illustration before you?” I felt God saying to me. “How much harder did you work with Lucy than Cooper?” I heard Him ask to anyone who might be listening. I listened! What a struggle it had been to groom her properly, I thought. She made it almost impossible to get the job done. Cooper, on the other hand, submissively obeyed, making grooming an effortless job. 

“Okay God, I get it,” I quickly answered. “My anxiety about writing Your answer on my time schedule prevented me from hearing Your answer in Your time. You want me to be still inside and out.”

I quickly put up the furminator, picked up my computer and writing supplies, and went into my prayer room/office. As I prepared to use my computer to write, I looked up and there before me on a plague were the words “BE STILL and KNOW that I AM GOD!” (Psalm 46:10) Thank you for confirmation, God! Could it be that I, like Lucy, chased a dream making my hearing less than perfect? Would God have to shout several times to get my attention? 

Earlier today as I prepared to write this message, I looked up the Habakkuk passage from Scripture and God communicated again to me the importance of being still and waiting on His answer. Until now verse two spoke God’s will into my life. Verse three screamed with validation the lesson learned this summer. Read Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NASB) below.

I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved. 
Then the Lord answered me and said,
“Record the vision
And inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run. 
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

Wow, God, You are awesome! I love how attentive You are to me. Help me to wait quietly every day in order to pay attention to You. Still my anxious thoughts and open my spirit to receive Your words of wisdom. Thank you, heavenly Father, for the lessons You teach me. Help me to actually put them into practice. Help me to be still, listen, and know You are God! In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Are you anxiously hoping for an answer to a pressing problem? Have you tried to fix issues in your life rather than allowing God’s will to prevail? Sit still before the Lord and wait on His answer. Know that He is God and trust Him. Hear the words of the Lord and practice them:

“Cease striving and know that I am God...”  Psalm 46:10a (NASB)

Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.  
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,And trust in the Lord.  Psalm 4:4-5 (NASB)             AMEN!!!

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