Waiting for Direction?

undecide“God, what do you want me to do now?” It seems I’ve asked that same question over and over as I’ve lived my life. Years ago, I was a new grad, the ink on my degree barely dry. Suddenly I was faced with a major decision—what should I do with my education? It was tempting to apply to grad school, sticking with what I knew. On the other hand, I was so tired of school! Maybe I should look for a job. Unfortunately, my degree was one of those lacking a clear career path. I spent hours praying, lost in a sea of choices.

A few years later, and I was a stay-at-home mom raising two little girls. But now they’d both be in school all day, and for the first time in almost a decade I had some freedom. Should I look for a job? Volunteer my passion? God, what do You want me to do?

Then one day I looked around and realized that my little girls were college students living away from home. I was an empty nester, available for whatever God wanted me to do. But I had no idea what that might be! I prayed for direction—God, now what?

Now I’m asking the same question all over again. With my father’s passing last September, I’m released from the responsibilities that come when our parents age and we become their caretakers. Once again, I’m praying for guidance. Here I am God, now what?

The temptation is to sit around the house, waiting for a text from heaven outlining exactly what my next move should be. But apart from an occasional burning bush, I’ve learned that God rarely works that way. I’ve blogged in the past about our friend whom God specifically told to wait for His voice, and we do have to be careful not to run ahead of the Holy Spirit.

However, it’s just as wrong to lag behind, using a lack of heavenly inspiration as an excuse to do nothing. In fact, let’s consider some of the “heroes of the faith” and see how God led them.

Abraham received pretty specific instructions. “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) But what was he doing at the time? He wasn’t just sitting around. In fact, he was a successful man:

“He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran…”

God called him while he was in the midst of living life.

How about Moses? He probably thought he’d spend the rest of his life in obscurity after committing a murder, but God had other plans. When God called him out of the burning bush, he was tending his father-in-law’s sheep.

Gideon was busy threshing wheat when God called him and gave him a new job (Judges 6). Samuel had gone to bed, Saul was hunting lost donkeys, David was watching sheep, and Elisha was plowing a field.

So, what do you do when you want to know what to do? Well, what do you want to do? What are you able to do? What skills and knowledge do you have? What will pay a living wage? Sometimes, I don’t think God cares so much what job we’re doing, as long as we’re doing it in His strength and for His glory.

If He wants you doing something else, He’ll let you know. Just make sure you’re listening.

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