The year I was finishing university, everybody was thinking about what they were meant to do next. My degree was in languages, and my husband and I planned to move to Peru, but that was not going to happen for at least a year.
Up to that point in my life God had always shown me very clearly the next step in my life. He spoke to me clearly about where I was to go to University, about the person I was to marry, about the places we should go to on my language year, about the country we were to live in long-term. On the big things, God had always made the path so clear, so why was there no answer every time I asked about what I was to do next?
I put in an application to study translating and interpreting at Master’s level, yet I felt I would not end up attending the course. I halfheartedly put in a couple of job applications. I considered other avenues of further study. Nothing seemed right. Why was God not showing me what I was supposed to do? I wrestled with doubt, lack of confidence in hearing His voice and confusion.
Finally, God spoke to me and said. ‘The reason you don’t know, is that it is not yet ready.’
Psalm 37:7 says ‘Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him’.
This week God has been speaking to me about waiting. Bill Johnson in his book ‘Face to Face with God’ talks about the Hebrew word for rest in that verse. As well as meaning ‘to be still’ it can also be interpreted as ‘to take a leisure walk’. I love that analogy. How often am I so concerned about hearing from God, and trying to work out the next step, that I miss just walking leisurely with Him? How often do I put the task and the wonder of trying to hear the mysteries of what He is saying above the pure delight of just enjoying His presence?
Did you know that nowhere in the Bible does it tell us that it is our responsibility to seek out the direction for our own lives? Our responsibility is to seek relationship with Him, and allow Him to guide us.
So next time I have a doubt, I am going to be realize that I don’t need to strive to find the answer. Often doubt means WAIT. Instead, I am going to take a leisure walk with the Lord.
And the next step for me after University? Well, shortly after being told to wait, I discovered I was pregnant with my first child. That certainly kept my hands full that year!
Are you unclear about the next step in your life at the moment? Where do you need to stop striving to find the answer and instead take a walk with the Lord?