I may have just proved time travel possible. There are certain phrases that cause what can only be called memory whiplash. Suddenly, and without warning, you are transported back in time to your childhood. Do not make me tell you twice, stop crying or I will give you something to cry about, if you keep doing that your face will stay that way, and many more go-to parenting phrases bring back fond memories of a time when things were simpler and your parents could make good on their threat to pull the car over. My dad said them to me, I have said them to my children and I am sure they will, if they haven’t already, say them to their children.
You may be old enough to be saying them to your kids, but that doesn’t mean you’re too old to have them said to you.
At the risk of putting words in God’s mouth, I have to wonder if He has His parental go-to lines like, ‘stop complaining or I will give you something to complain about’ (He may have wanted to use this one on Israel after they left Egypt) or ‘if you keep staring at me like that your eyes will stay that way’ (would have worked every time Jesus appeared after He rose from the dead) or maybe ‘if you keep talking like that I will stop this thing and deal with you’ (probably would have been said to Peter quite a few times). With all this conjecture mixed with my rather strange sense of humour, would it surprise you if I said I believe God has been using another parental go-to line?
God does not always speak but He is always telling us something.
I have only heard God speak to me three times. I am not suggesting that God has only spoken to me three times, but rather that He has only used what could be best described as a voice to talk to me, three times. Reading His word and meditating on Him has revealed plenty and has been sufficient for what was happening the vast majority of the time but for some reason these three instances were different. I guess you are wondering what He said. For two of them you will have to wait for another blog, however, you will only have to read a few more lines to find out about the third. I was praying one day, or should I say pleading. I was between ministry positions, without a job and feeling lost. I wanted to know what to do, I wanted to know where to go and I wanted to know why God seemed to be doing nothing. As clear as day I heard God say, “don’t confuse my silence with inactivity.” It wasn’t scary. It wasn’t a booming theatrical voice with the reverb set at maximum. It wasn’t external and yet it wasn’t in my head. It just was undeniably God.
Waiting on God to speak can make you discouraged, when He speaks it doesn’t guarantee you will feel any better.
“Don’t confuse my silence with inactivity” isn’t a variation on one of the previously mentioned parental go-to lines so why have I brought it up? I am now in a similar situation as I was when God said those words to me years ago. I completed my last contract at the end of December 2016 and had expected to start another one in January 2017. It’s now the end of May and even though the outcome of my last contract far exceeded expectations, I remain unemployed. I want to know what to do, I want to know where to go and I want to know why God seems to be doing nothing. God has spoken again. This time it was not audible, nothing miraculously out of the ordinary. I guess the best way to describe it is, a revelation with little fanfare. Like a loving but frustrated dad, God revealed these words to me, “do not make me tell you twice.”
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13 (NIV)