This serves as a reminder to me that just as God has provided for the daily needs of the Israelites and Hummingbirds, so too will He provide for mine. There is work involved to receive His provisions. And yes, many times there will be grumbling and complaining as we do not like what we are called to do, or the challenges we must face, in preparation for what God has in store. Have you ever looked back to notice the lessons learned, information gained or connections made during a trying time in your life? I believe these were no accident. In fact, they were exactly what you needed in preparation for God’s plan for your life. No matter how lost we become, or how many detours we take in life, we will always be given something from the experience that will help us to grow and give us the courage we need to keep moving forward---even if we slip and roll down the hill again. Who knows, it might be on THAT hill, as we are climbing back up, we find the gold nugget needed to be prosperous in the plans laid out for us.
look back at the skills or information learned, from a variety of random situations along the way, that I have truly been amazed at God’s guidance in my life. And the connections! People from such backgrounds that I would not have otherwise crossed their path. I am only beginning to see now how everything has worked together to prepare me for where I need to be at this moment. Who knows, the moment I am in now may be more preparation for what is yet to come. We must learn to be patient and attentive as we wander through the wilderness of life, for there is a promised land at the end. Be it this life or the next.
so you can get cozy and enjoy your time with God.’ Well, I don’t know about you, but for me a lot can happen between my chair and the coffee pot! Research suggests that passing through a doorway causes memory lapses. You know, like when you go to your closet and find yourself standing there trying to remember what you came after.
According to Professor Gabriel Radvansky of Notre Dame, “Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away.” I have to walk through three doors to warm my coffee. This can lead to many distractions. Sometimes taking an hour or more to get back to my Bible. Some days, I never make it back. These distractions are real and intentional.
Satan is real, and he has many weapons and strategies he uses to defeat us. One of his favorites is distraction! He takes a victory lap every time he manages to distracts us and keep us from spending time with the Lord. Why would he want to do that? To keep our focus off God. He’s gotten pretty cunning at distracting us with things that sound good. Things like you’ll enjoy your prayer time more if your coffee is hot, or convincing you it’s okay to skip your Bible time today so that you can volunteer at the food pantry. Take note of the times you are suddenly bombarded with distractions. Is it during your quiet time with God or when you are doing the work he has called you to do? I know that happens a lot to me. We need to be aware and pray for our eyes to be open. We can fight these attacks as the lord has armed us with far greater weapons.
Another tactic of distraction is when our thoughts begin to spiral as we focus on the worries of life, our fears, or self-doubts. If we’re not careful, they can spiral out of control. We keep rethinking the same things over and over again. Often times trying to work out our situation on our own instead of taking it to God and trusting him to help us through these difficult times. Jesus understands how we feel when going through these spirals. Maybe we’re going through rejection or experiencing sorrow. Jesus understands these as well. He was rejected by his own family (John 7:5), the Jews he came to save (Matt 21:42), and even his disciple (Luke 22:54-62). But Jesus forgave them and he will forgive you too. You can read how Jesus re-commissions Peter in John 21:15-19. Jesus understands your sorrows as well. There are three times in Scripture when he wept. John 11:35, Luke 19;41, and Hebrews 5:7-9. He truly loves you and cares for you. Jesus understands your heart and your pain. Go to him instead of the distraction of your spiral.
Redirecting our actions down paths leading us away from our God given purpose is another way the devil and his staff like to distract us. God’s purpose for our life should be our priority. The devil will do anything in his power to keep us from making progress in God’s plan for our life.
One last tactic I want to mention is that of self-focus. This is a big one in our society today. We like to follow our own desires, seek success as the world defines it, and make our own plans. Taking pride in self-sufficiency can lead to a separation from God. We become far too busy to find time for God or to stop and listen to his plans instead of our own. We may think we know best, but he sees the much larger picture of where our life is going.
The next time you feel like you don’t hear God’s voice, take a moment to stop, take a deep breath, and look for the distractions in your life that might be pulling you away from him. If you’re like me, it might be time to make some honest confessions as well to restore your relationship. Confessions of distractions, pride, and not turning our spiraling thoughts over to him. Whatever it is, God can handle it. All you need to do is spend time talking with him. You can warm up your cup of coffee after that.
Artist, Gardener, Writer