I’m praying through a lot lately and my propensity is to ask God, “Show me exactly how, exactly what and exactly when…oh yeah, and if You could, just be CLEAR because that would help me out a lot right now”……silence………silence………
Ok and it’s amazing how when I ask for the specifics, fear and anxiety are more likely to come, because I do not have the very exact answers that I am looking for and that I think I need.
I heard a story of a man who sought clarity about what to do with his life. As part of his search, he volunteered to work for three months at “The House of the Dying” in Calcutta, India, a place founded by Mother Teresa. The very first morning he was there, he met Mother Teresa. She asked him, “What can I do for you?” He paused to think and then asked that she pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she wondered. “Pray,” he said, “that I have clarity.” Her abrupt response took him aback. “No,” she told him, “I will not do that.” When he asked why not, she told him, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When he observed that she seemed to have the kind of clarity he wanted, she laughed out loud and told him, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
So, I push beyond all the fears, insecurities, doubts and get on my knees. Lord, “show me Your ways, teach me Your paths, guide me in truth and lead me. For You are my God, my Savior and my hope is in You all. day. long.” (Ps. 25:4-6)
Ahhh, that’s the secret. See, I know my propensity is to think that I deserve to know the details and that I deserve to have all the answers. And I believe that my deserving-to-know is on the basis that God has put me in this place of need, so, yes! He must show me! Funny thing though, is that one question may get a response, but notice how 100 more pop-up right after? And then I want those answered because who else is supposed to answer my 7,890,467, 201.75 questions?! And it doesn’t help that I’m an analyzer. I can go from 0 – 6 million questions in 3 seconds flat! I think that’s all of our propensities – to think we deserve to know exactly now what God knows! That we deserve to be on par with the Creator and Orchestrator of life and history. And when He’s quiet, we may even get a little uppity in our prayers as though we were there with Him when He created the earth, sky, heavens and all the vegetation. Oh yes, and remember the behemoth, and the galaxies?
See, He sovereignly governed my life before I was created and He called me forth in this time – not my will, nor even my parents. Even when I was not thinking of Him, He set His gaze on me. And even when my eyes were so wonderfully opened to His love and plans, I still had the propensity to go and do my own thang! Over and over, He governed, planned, led, guided, whether or not I was asking Him to. And when I actually started desiring His wonderful input and leading, it was easy then to desire control over that as well. Now I want specifics, details to the minutiae degree and I need to know now of course.
But David knew the secret. Of course as a shepherd himself, he walked with his sheep daily. They had to learn to trust him. And it was while he shepherded that he learned how his Shepherd would lead him. He did not ask God for the details, but just asked to see the way God is leading, to stay on those paths and be led forth by God’s voice. He asked that God would only guide him, step by step and the path will become clearer as he went along. The questions would soon be resolved. Times of worrying and anxiousness would be done away because God would make sure to let David know what to do today, for today is what is actual. Why? Because we’re talking about David’s Savior who had led him that far and would He actually just stop?! No, but that’s what I can begin to believe.
And this is where I am today. I won’t have all the answers now, not for my personal knowing or anyone else’s. That would place my peace more so in me and that peace can only come from God. I trust that when I need to know, He will let me know. What’s more important is that I learn to walk daily with my Shepherd, not phone a friend for an answer. And if I wait for only clarity, I may wait a lot longer than if I just held His hand and followed His paths.