I have been taking a drive…through the past.
At the beginning of my relationship with the Lord, I listened to many sermons from the late, Dr. Adrian Rogers.
He was one of those preachers where I agreed with pretty much everything he said. He was easy to understand and had a great sense of humor.
You could also hear the compassion…the longing in his voice, for you to know Jesus.
It was exciting to me when I recently discovered a podcast in his name. I never even look for podcasts and I don’t even remember how I found it.
Now, I am thrilled to hear these messages every day…because it’s like they were meant just for me.
There is no way the random selection of messages published within this Otto Radio app subscription is a coincidence.
It is as if the Lord Himself has answered that long desire and wish to hear from Him audibly.
I used to think that couldn’t happen, like a voice from the sky, a burning bush, mysterious handwriting on a wall…or does it not happen these days because we do not believe it can?
It does. God is just doing it 21st century style.
(See my post, For The Journey Ahead.)
We have to slow down long enough to listen. I began to notice that even when I missed a few days, when I open the app notifications, and go back to where I left off…it is as if God has been waiting on hold until I came back to the phone.
Whatever conversations I’ve had lately, the verses I have seen or written – pretty much anything in my life right now – it is mentioned in a prerecorded sermon from a pastor, who has long since been with the Lord in heaven.
Plus, how weird is it that I am writing about this just two days after addressing the subject of the Vice President being mocked for hearing from the Lord? Maybe I am in a Groundhog Day movie experience where the Lord is letting me repeat things over and over until I get them right. Or, He’s repeating a message until I stop long enough to hear it. He is very patient with me.
However, we are not a patient society. Me? I almost turn into the Wolverine when a drive-thru worker asks me to pull forward and wait. Why does that infuriate me? It’s a drive thru! I did not come inside to wait. I am driving through because I don’t want to wait. Why did you not have fries ready? Do you not cook all day? And, while I am asking, why does the ice cream machine never work? I think all of the franchises got together and decided these tactics would speed up their productivity times in order to satisfy the powers that be. When I routinely go through a fast-food establishment and their first comment to me is to pull forward…it’s a scam. Once, and only once, I refused. My children were mortified. You would have thought I had committed a crime as they gasped in horror, and begged me to just do what the person said. **LOL**
Yes, I just typed LOL because that is what I am doing right now, on my couch, remembering the look on their faces. Plus, there’s really no other way to end that kind of selfish, bratty rant.
The example is absolutely true, although it paints me as a ridiculous person. Of all the things to get angry about, why does this one pet peeve flip a switch in me so I burn like the baby from The Incredibles?
Now, how I went from the beloved Dr. Rogers, and God speaking to me, to drive-thru window rage and The Incredibles… friends, welcome to my brain. It is truly the place where 1,000 browser tabs are always open, and like in the movie Inside Out, they are desperately racing to switch back and forth, close some tabs and keep me on track.
Like a vine of kudzu, I can start writing a blog post and it takes over…branching off into three or four more, so that I have to cut and paste paragraphs I’ve written, and then put those under a different blog title, and go back to that browser later. If I remember. 😳
It all reminds me of a book I read before I married Clique, and I believe I quote this in almost every story I tell.
Men Are Like Waffles and Women Are Like Spaghetti
In general, science and smart people say men do not think like women. One main point from the book that always stood out to me was…sometimes, men have empty waffle compartments in their brain. Those little squares that, in real-life, hold syrup and butter? They have blank ones. Nothing but a square carb. Dry and void.
Your guy may be sitting there, just watching tv, and we come along and ask, “What are you thinking about, honey?”
He casually replies with, “Nothing.”
Then, being the women we are, we might analyze the tone of the word, “nothing,” against everything that has happened that week, or in your entire marriage, and become convinced he just doesn’t want to talk to us, or worse, he is hiding something.
The. waffle. compartment. is empty. air.
He really isn’t thinking about anything. He is just watching the football game, or a John Wayne movie, or The Godfather for the one hundreth time. While, I, Mrs. Spaghetti Plate over here, can talk like an auctioneer, going from one end of that pasta, through forty chopped up pieces, through the land of sauce and meatballs, until thankfully, we reach the other side of the plate – that landed us today on the subject of drive-thru fries.
I am exhausted just telling you this.
Where were we?
Oh yes, the very important lesson of slowing down, and listening to what God has to say. Ironically, I really don’t think I could be more convincing right now as to why this is an ongoing lesson for me.
I go about my daily life and business while He is waiting, patiently waiting, for me to listen. Can you imagine me ignoring a call from a boss, or from someone of great importance? In those moments, I snatch up my phone so quickly that I accidentally pressed decline one time while fumbling with my phone. Then, I panicked as to whether or not I should call back.
The Lord definitely wants us to call back.
He wants long conversations where no one wants to hang up first. It is a relationship where He is the last thing I think about before I go to sleep, and the first thing on my mind each morning.
This is how we should direct our attention with our Lord, then our spouse, and then our family. We cannot place them on hold, and I have done that so many times. Maybe there was a justified reason, or maybe they didn’t want to have a conversation with me at the time, but one of us has to keep pressing redial.
As for the Lord, this should be a 24/7 conversation. I should grab my Bible or devotion or app sermon every day, as if someone was about to tell me the winning lottery numbers. It gets exciting!
I know the treasure that can be found in studying God’s Word is worth untold riches of wisdom, answered prayers, and a sense of peace in the midst of it all.
Who wouldn’t want that? I have been too distracted and too busy for years. I don’t even know where the time went, and now I have moments of deep distress that I have missed something with my children or my husband – or with the Lord. But, as I told my youngest daugher this morning, the journey we have walked as a family, especially over the last four years, was for a purpose. It was for growth. It was for something bigger than we realize.
We already have glimpses of some good things, like her sister becoming…brave, outspoken, and not so timid. Maybe, out of all the options in God’s inifinite plan, Morgan would only find her voice by facing a dragon. More than one dragon. I couldn’t talk her into being brave, or anyone else. In fact, it only hurt her feelings when someone said she needed to stand up for herself, and not have her head down when she walked, as if she was not good enough. It was painful to watch her cross a battlefield and only be able to watch from the sidelines. God knew what it would take to mold her into the woman she needs to be for His kingdom and He allowed it to happen. She was not overtaken, but she was sifted – and she is stronger for it.
We press on.
Today is a brand new day. I am 43 years old, and the Bible says the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. It says we are not to grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest.
I can choose to view the rest of my life as a blank page, paying more attention to the Lord for the second half, and writing to you about the first half. I have A LOT of helpful tips. It will be like a guide that tells you where to stop and eat, which exits have coffee, sightseeing ideas, and where the speed traps are located. Most importantly, it will advise on which drive-thru windows to avoid!
Life is a journey. We crawl, walk and run – not always in that order.
We have rest stops. There are detours and dead ends.
There are broken legs…times when you must have special assistance just to keep moving forward. It feels like you will never reach your destination.
The children of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years, but they eventually entered the Promised Land, a destination that took forever to reach.
They had disasters, disobedience and battles, but also miracles and blessings – on both sides of the Jordan River.
As the ark of the covenant went before the people, God instructed Joshua to leave a specific distance between the people and the Levitical priests carrying the ark.
He said they had not been this way before, and so the distance was needed to see which direction God’s presence was leading.
“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.
However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure.
Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.“
To Clique, Morgan and Melody…we have not passed this way before. We are in a new section of the map that is unexplored territory, as one starts college and one starts to drive.
We have made it this far, and thankfully we still love each other. As the dust settles from this road trip, we can stop for a while and reflect on where we’ve been. I am sure I have photos if there is anything we have forgotten. We can wait here until we see which way the Lord is leading.
We have to look back on the family vacation slideshow first, of what the Lord wants us to learn from this most recent journey. It will take honesty and a teachable spirit. Maybe some popcorn and Kleenex.
We have been held captive at times, as they were in Egypt, and there were occasions where we grumbled and complained after being told to make bricks with very little straw.
We waited for a Deliverer. We have celebrated, laughed, and lifted our hands in praise.
Other times, we have let our attention be drawn to worldly things that served as idols, in place of a daily relationship with God. That golden calf moment was really stupid.
Even when He seemed far away or silent, God still provided a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, to direct us on our path. He is much more reliable than Siri.
In heart-breaking moments of grief, we have lost people along the way, and we carry their memories with us to this new place.
When the dry, desert air made things look like a wasteland…we saw miracles and provision. There were strangers and friends, like the good Samaritian, who stopped and gave all they had, just to help us back on the road.
There was one time where we (me) almost drowned, as the fear of the Red Sea threatened its wall of water all around us, while an army made their way from behind.
We were tempted to lose heart when things appeared bleak. We became impatient and complained if we had to wait on the manna and the quail.
Because we have been sustained, strengthened and led to the place where our feet now touch the water, THIS water, of 2018, it will part once again so we can walk through on dry ground.
We have to keep your distance though and not rush ahead. We need to be able to step back and see the ark up ahead. The enemy has a long list of strategies to take us off this narrow path.
If there is bitter water, then He can make it sweet.
If there is another battle, then He will fight for us, but we have to be still.
People in other lands, who do not believe in the Lord, they are watching. They hear the stories of faith and wait for you to be destroyed, so they can claim that the Lord is not God.
We have not been this way before, but God has. I believe Him.
I want you to discover all that He is – now that you have some solo journeys planned.
Will you recognize Him?
Do you really know who He is?
He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides.
He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals.
He is Jehovah Nissi, the Lord is my banner.
He is El Roi, the God who sees.
He is El Shaddai, God Almighty.
He is Elohim, the Creator.
He is our Abba Father.
He is the Alpha and the Omega.
He is El Elyon, the God Most High.
The Great I Am.
Copyright © 2018 Keysha Thomaston®. All Rights Reserved.