"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."
Psalm 143:8 (NIV)
Join me for the beginning of this Detour today at 4pm on Encouragement Cafe . I'll be serving up my detour story titled GPS: Listening to God's Planning Strategy.
Here's how the story continues:
Usually detours are set up to protect us from dangerous road conditions ahead. But when we detour off God's planned route for our lives, we can travel some treacherous roads. As you've just read my story at Encouragement Cafe, I learned this the hard way and then God redirected my journey on an off-road experience.
In the seven months it took to completely heal from my concussion, there were times when I could do nothing. The pain was so severe that simple tasks like bending over, watching television, listening to music, and browsing the Internet triggered excruciating headaches. I could however, journal and read for short snippets of time. So, what's left to do? NOTHING!
I felt so guilty knowing my entire family was working and I was contributing nothing. I kept checking in with God, "Are you sure I'm suppose to be doing nothing?" The answer was always the same, "Do nothing. Just let me heal you." Double checking that I heard him right I'd ask again, "So God, in my 'doing nothing' what am I REALLY suppose to be doing?"
In God's infinite wisdom and humor, I wasn't really doing nothing. I was enrolled in God's School of Ear Training. God had me right where he wanted me; totally dependent on Him for a full nine hours a day. In those hours God trained my ears to discern his voice in prayer, in reading Scripture, and in simple conversation.
The following summer it was time to take a step of faith and follow God's directions. Journaling quietly at my girlfriends kitchen table one July morning, God gave me the gift of words that formed a simple verse. As I reread it I thought, "Hey, that could be a children's book! "God answered, "Why, yes it could. Now publish it." That's how simply my children's book Auntie's House came to be and was published by Halo Publishing Int'l in February 2009. It was a small beginning that has germinated into a larger, God-sized dream.
Learning to hear God's voice, recognizing it and stepping out in faith to obey it have been valuable lessons. It is difficult to let go of our own plans and veer off-road with God. Sometimes the road conditions leave us with poor visibility and we're left wondering what awaits us up ahead. But one thing is true: God will never leave us or forsake us on our journeys. He will see us through to the end.
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
"Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight." Psalm 119:35 (NIV)
How easy it is to stay our own course when you are calling us to detour away from dangerous roads. Help us not only to discern your voice but to humbly lay down our own road plans for yours that lead to life.