I used to live by the skin of the last minute. I still manage my life by the hottest fires when my plate gets full and my schedule gets hectic, but I’ve grown a lot in preparing for deadlines before they’re right on top of me, choking the life out of me and my family, demanding late-night work-a-thons that last into the wee hours. So a few weeks ago, when I finalized my remarks for a speaking engagement several days early, I was thrilled!
And then it happened.
God redirected seventy percent of what I was going to say thirty-six hours before I was to say it. I trusted Him to steer my revisions, but I was totally caught off guard. In the hours between finding out and my first opportunity to sit down and do something about it, it took a conscious effort to take captive every pressured thought and make it obedient to Jesus Christ by casting my cares on Him. I took lots of deep breaths!
Sadly, it was déjà vu! Several months ago, a few days before speaking to the youth girls and women at our church, I had wrapped up what I was going to say, and as I enthusiastically shared key points with my daughter, I was met with a dull stare.
“What? You don’t like it?” I inquired, panic building in my gut.
Disappointment lurked behind supportive eyes as she sweetly and honestly answered, “Oh, I’m sure it will be fine. I was just hoping you’d talk about what God has to say about self-image and what to do about it, because you know, most of us girls really struggle with that.”
And I knew. I had to change it all.
Because it was a redirection from the Lord, it was better (see Letting God’s Word Define You)! I knew He would be equally faithful to steer me where He w
anted me to go this time, but we had to talk.
“I can’t keep doing this, Lord,” I implored. “I know it’s not You; it’s me. Please help me with what it is You have for me to say tomorrow night, and can we work on my listening skills or something, because I don’t know if I can go through this again!”
My first opportunity to begin reworking my speech was 8:30 p.m.
It was going to be a late night. Every few words I managed to type immediately met the fate of the delete button.
Alone in my office, I lowered my forehead into the palm of my hand and slapped lightly as if to press my brain into service. As I mouthed yet another desperate prayer for help, I glanced up to see my youngest daughter approaching, cautiously balancing heaven on earth in her sweet eleven-year-old hands.
She knew exactly what I needed to survive the night: decaf coffee and dark chocolate.
Her tender heart and thoughtfulness blessed me beyond words. It was a sweet gesture on her part and on the Lord’s.
The treat was amazing, and it really did help! I don’t know if it was the pleasure of the indulgence or the distraction of its deliciousness, and I don’t care. It spoke volumes of her love and concern for me, and it ministered to my heart as a mama. She noticed my stress and met it with two of my favorite escapes!
After many stops and starts, the Lord brought it all together. He provided exceedingly and abundantly beyond all I could ask or imagine in answering my prayers that night.
He is so faithful.
And that’s what I talked about at the event.
Remarkably, the essence of what God had me share never really changed. It was a vision banquet, and from the moment I accepted the invitation, God turned my thoughts to all we can learn about Him from the story of the Exodus. The fact that He is the source of our vision, and He is faithful to do exactly what He says He’s going to do despite and in spite of us and how things appear. If you’ve read my blog for long, you know His goodness and sovereignty are favorite topics!
I’m excited to bring it all together here, the what I was going to say and the what I said. The truth of what God says in His word and what He has done in my life. Will you join me in closing out this year by revisiting what is likely a very familiar story to discover eight characteristics of God we can count on in trusting Him for vision and what I call Vision Provision in our lives?
As I’ve shared before, one thing that drives my passion to write and speak is seeing people in desperate need of God’s faithfulness and provision, crying out to Him about the desires of their hearts and the problems that plague them, and yet holding their hands in His face when He tells them exactly what to do. As we learn or are reminded of His faith-building traits, I pray He helps us overcome any unbelief and increases our faith in Him to the point where we are willing to do anything He asks of us.
Lord, together we lower our hands and bow our knees to Your will for our lives as we become more wholly Yours today.