So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion, for the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.
O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. ..Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or the left.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.
I believe in a God who promises to guide and direct his children; a God who desires their ultimate good, which may lead through times of trial and suffering as well as times of ease, comfort and plenty.
I have experienced in my own life these last 18 months, the clear directing of that loving hand, as my husband and I were invited to consider this new place of ministry, and one by one, the objections fell away, and the doors opened even before we pushed them! As the days and months go by, we are deeply at peace here, absolutely convinced that God desires us to work and live in this remote place, within a small community, things we have never done before. He called, and He is enabling, generously!
On a personal level however, I am still seeking guidance and direction, since I am not the parish minister, only his backup team, and that is not a full-time job! I do not know yet, just what my life here is to consist of – whether paid employment alongside housekeeping and church work; or a small mosaic of voluntary occupations, serving as well as I can. I am waiting..a recent job application led to a clearly closed door – an answer of sorts for the moment.. and I wait.
I am getting to know people, using my own interests and things which bring me joy to make connections which might grow into relationships within which I can share Christ. But these are quite selfish ways to use my time, and it has been pointed out to me quite forcefully, that the relationships are principally with folk my own age or older, not the younger members of the community..
There are many good things which need to be done – both church and community based – but I don’t think awareness of a need constitutes a call that I should fulfill it – God knows that none of us can stretch that thinly. How am I to discern what to do? I follow the advice of James, the ever practical apostle, and ask – and keep asking, not only for guidance, but that I might recognise it when it comes! I wait, trying to use my time well, but not committing to anything permanently, testing out the different opportunities and asking for that voice to speak clearly.
Father God, your child is stumbling a little; unsure of her footing and of the way, she looks for your hand and strains to hear your voice: Fulfill your promise and guide her.
Lord God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: you spoke to your children so clearly at times, directed their ways and they knew what to do: Fulfill your promise, and guide this child now.
Delivering God, who confronted Moses in the desert from within the fire, speaking with power and then led your people by fire and cloud up from slavery, fulfill your promise, and lead this child.
You see her heart’s desire is to glorify you; and she longs to know how this is to be done, here, now, in this place; fulfill your promise Lord, and grant her heart’s desire.
Purify her heart and thought of all that would mislead her, tune her ears to hear your voice, strengthen her will that she might obey if the call is to some work which she finds daunting.
Above all Father, so fill her heart with love for her precious Lord, that any labour for him is a privilege, no matter how humble, and any sacrifice of selfish pleasure is worthwhile.
Only let her know that she is doing your will, for the blessing of her community and the glorifying of your Son’s wonderful name.