As I was walking by the river the other day I stopped for a while to watch the water. It was fairly full after recent rain and was flowing quite quickly. The river bed is full of rocks and I love seeing how the water flows over or round them. It seems to be in such a hurry to get somewhere and crashes over the large rocks or creates mini-waterfalls as it goes. Sometimes, however, it seems to swirl into a pool at the side of the river for a time and go round in circles until it eventually gets caught up again and flows on.
It seems to me that our lives can be rather like the water. We are often in a great hurry to ‘get there’ – though where ‘there’ is is not always clear – but we bustle along, leaping over obstacles or pushing our way through them. Sometimes everything seems to be flowing smoothly: our relationship with the Lord is healthy and there don’t seem to be too many difficulties in the way, while there are other times when we seem to be going round in small circles getting nowhere fast. These other times can be very frustrating. No matter what we do or how hard we try, God seems to be silent and very far away, and the daily quiet time becomes a real effort.
Sometimes our prayer meetings in church can be like this too, and as we were praying together the other night and nothing was happening, I sensed that God was saying to me, “What did I say to you last time?” I thought for a bit and then responded, and then sensed God again saying, “Well, are you doing it?”
When God speaks to us and gives us direction we need to obey. I remember once hearing of a couple to whom God had spoken about going to do some mission work in Africa but for various seemingly valid reasons they hadn’t gone. Years later, they were again seeking His guidance on what they should be doing in their lives and God reminded them of what He had said to them all those years earlier. After further prayer for guidance as to where He wanted them to go, this time they did set off. They were not out there for very long, but felt they had completed the job God had sent them to do, and once they had come home, He began speaking to them again.
If you are going through a ‘dry patch’, unable to hear the Lord, is it possible that He gave you some directions a while ago which you haven’t yet carried out? Ask Him for a gentle reminder if that is the case.
Prayer: Dear Father God, You are always more eager to speak to me than I am to listen. Please forgive me if I have not obeyed You and help me to do the things You ask of me, no matter how ‘inconvenient’ they may seem. You will always make a way. Thank You, Father. Amen.
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