Do you think God listens to us, and really cares what we think? Do you think your opinions matter to Him?
“Well, He already knows my heart,” you might say (Acts 15:8). That’s true. But that in no way means He doesn’t want open communication with you. He desires a relationship with you! Jesus calls us His friends (John 15:15), and He loves you so much He died for you (John 3:16).
Many years ago Gary and I were struggling with the concept of selling our house and moving – now that God had broken through my hard head so lovingly and made me see things from Gary’s eyes instead of just my own (The Majestic Awesomeness of God). But where were we supposed to move to?
One night Gary awoke in the middle of the night, and he just started praying. Where should we move to, Lord? Where do You want us?
And then he said he felt like the Lord asked him, Where do you want to go?
This kind of threw Gary off guard, but he said, I’d like to move to Bend [Oregon].
Then Gary felt like the Lord told him: Go ahead and go. As Abraham up and left not having clear direction, so must you. Trust me, Gary.
Well that was a bombshell, no doubt! Bend is a beautiful resort city in central Oregon where we’d vacationed as a family on a few locations. It was indeed gorgeous, but basically it was in the middle of nowhere – the nearest big city was Portland, which was 160 miles away over mountain passes which tended to get quite snowy and treacherous in the winter.
But here’s a funny thing. During the same time frame that Gary had the dream, I had been reading through Genesis, all about Abraham! I had just finished chapter 24:1-27, where Abraham had asked his servant to go into town to find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant went into the specified town, then got on his knees and prayed for success in finding who God would want to be Isaac’s wife. The servant asked God for specifics things, down to the point of what words the chosen girl would reply when he asked her a particular question.
This got me thinking: Does God want us to pray very specific prayers – even down to asking for explicit confirmation?
Gary and I had been confused as to just where we were supposed to move and when we were supposed to do so. And what about Gary’s job? Were we just to pack up and move to Bend with our special needs son without Gary having a job, not having a house and having limited money in our bank account?
I decided I really needed to meditate and pray about all this. Because at that particular time certain things in our lives had been starting to unravel a bit:
- We hadn’t been able to find a suitable home in our price range anywhere around the area where we lived which was wheelchair accessible;
- Jeffrey was all of a sudden starting to withdraw from things that used to really excite him, such as Kidz Choir (Jeffrey Joins In With His Church Friends), and the wheelchair kids group that we had found for him, called WOW (Winners on Wheels) which had started up in the Seattle area;
- I had been having weird discombobulated feelings at times that “change” was coming, but had no idea what it all meant.
There were even moments where instead of feeling secure and comfortable in my house and familiar surroundings, I was starting to feel like I wanted to run away and jump into to something brand new (WHOA, that was a new feeling for me!).
I knew that the only answer to all my confusion was running to my Lord and asking for clarification. I knew that I needed to let Him have all the whirlwind emotions going through my mind, praying that I’d have open listening ears to hear God’s voice.
Let me just wrap this up by stating that we did indeed finally move to Bend – but it was almost 3 years later! God longs to give us the desires of our hearts, but in our particular case there was still work that needed to be done in the area where we were living – He was going to continue using us to work in others’ lives, plus we personally needed additional molding and shaping (Psalm 37:3-7) before we headed away for our big jaunt. It just wasn’t time yet…
So don’t give up! Keep praying to your Father, but then listen and trust Him. He’s got everything in control, and His timetable will always be perfect.