The trip to Tulsa last weekend was wonderful, relaxing, and completely different than I had expected. Of course, I try not to have expectations about outcomes I can’t control, particularly where the sovereign will of God is concerned (and that pretty much encompasses everything), so I am constantly like a kid on Christmas morning, waiting to see what the Lord has given me each day.
I realize now that part of my apprehension about the future must have stemmed from the fear of change. The primary reason I had been visiting Tulsa regularly was scheduled to come to an end next spring, and I had been re-thinking a bunch of things about why I was doing what I was doing and if it made sense any more. Sorry to be vague. This is personal health-related stuff that isn’t really very interesting. Suffice it to say, I thought this might be my last solid trip to Tulsa for the indefinite future. And I wasn’t dealing with that knowledge very well. I was basically in denial about it.
But despite a bout of intense insomnia and anxiety for two weeks preceding the trip, I was able to spend enough time in the garden with my Shepherd to hear a little voice suggest something to me. It was an idea I’d toyed with on and off for the past year, and I hadn’t done anything about it. So, Tulsa came, I saw my doctor, put a question to her, and got an answer that really encouraged me.
I still have no idea how things will pan out, if something solid is going to still be there for me in Tulsa come springtime, but now I have hope. If God has chosen something for me there in that sweet town, He will bring it to pass. I don’t have to orchestrate anything, manipulate circumstances, or try to find a way to make people who have decided to leave, stay. People choose how they choose, and you have to let them go.
That said, the weekend was picturesque, serene, and golden. Sitting in the park at Riverside and 41st was idyllic—-the sun cast rays of liquid butter across the blades of grass; the breeze flitted through the strong but supple branches of the trees. The weekend was productive: fellowship with other writers was a balm to the soul. It was blessed: alone time with my friends without their four children, an unexpected treat. The weekend was heartbreaking: finding out one of my clients had taken a turn for the worse, and that her husband was dealing with a serious crisis of faith. It was disappointing: missing opportunities to re-connect with other friends.
Most of all, it was encouraging. I may not have seen everyone I would dearly have liked to, but God has His ways of letting me know He’s right beside me, working every little thing according to His plan.
Oswald Chambers says Christians don’t pray because they want to see immediate results when they do—-burning bushes and miracles. They don’t pray every day for an ordinary man’s salvation because they want to be entertained by the pomp and circumstance of a road to Damascus conversion. But the Lord hears every single prayer we pray for people who don’t know us, people who no longer remember us, and each little prayer we say moves mountains in the eyes of God.
When I sat in the park by myself, wishing for a sign that my prayers have not been in vain, I heard nothing but the sound of the trees and felt the soft, humid caress of daylight fading to dusk. I was reading The Solitude of Prime Numbers, and I, indeed, felt alone. I made a comment to myself that hardly anyone reads my blog, and the effort was wasted. Then I asked God to show me His glory.
Then I returned home, found an email from an acquaintance in my box, thanking me for my blog posts on writing. Later that day, a literary editor found me on Twitter and said he was impressed by my faith.
God hears us! These tiny little things are the unmistakable touch of the Shepherd’s hand on my shoulder, reassuring me that He will never fail me. How can I possibly doubt Him? Even my meager faith moves mountains, and I can’t wait to get to heaven to see their splendor.Read More...