Time to shake things up

“God is making things happen for you. Even when you don’t see it, even if you can’t feel it, even if it’s not evident.. God is working on your prayers.” – Lifehack.org

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” – Unknown

“Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.” – 1 Samuel 3:9

If you’re like me (and Samuel) you ask God to speak to you. You ask Him to enter into your life and ensure you’re going in the right direction. You want Him to provide clear answers and you want to see positive change.

Many days, nothing feels noticeably different. As impatience arises, you might even ask if it’s worth it to ask for such a big request.

Or it might be that suddenly everything feels like a complete disaster – your life in ruins. You asked for clarity and help and God allows a catastrophe to strike. What gives?

All through the winter I felt the former. Things were continuing on as they had for months. It got to the point where I wondered how I could keep asking for help and answers if I wasn’t hearing God.

But as I’m sure you know, timing is funny.

This past winter, I went to a small group with college friends and we watched a video of a video of Pastor Erwin McManus. Usually I tune out when I see videos of these mega church pastors, as they seem a bit too preachy to me. However, this one was music to my ears.

Although nothing had been “answered” in my life via a simple YouTube clip, it served as a much needed reminder; when you ask for guidance, God will respond. However, it’s likely He won’t answer you in the way you expected. Even if it’s not the safe and idyllic turn of events you’d hope for, He’s working on something.

And for awhile, it might feel like a disaster. As Erwin addressed, God allows your life to get shaken up. There are times He shakes up everything in your world and you feel angry or hurt or terrified.

A poignant example Erwin used was his car accident. After all of the chaos of the initial crash, someone asked him, “are you alright?” He responded “yes” as his senses pulsed through him.

Think back to a moment like this. When your day to day life was shaken up. It is in these moments of catastrophe and instability that you are most aware, you’re awakened to your surroundings and things become most clear. You finally hear what’s been told to you but this time, you see it for yourself.

It’s in these moments that you might be tempted to go back to stability. To find your footing through reverting to the past. However, this is when God challenges you, “you have to decide: do you want me to speak or do you want things to remain as they are?”

My favorite quote from Erwin’s video stuck with me the most through my recent “shaky” time:

“For every time we let Him shake us free from those things that hold us down, He makes us free to receive everything that lifts us up.”

We can spend a lot of time asking for direction and clarity in our choices, but oftentimes, we spend less time listening, reflecting and reacting. I encourage you to allow the big waves of emotion and instability hit you. These are when you are at your finest in the sense that you can finally be in tune with God. You just have to choose to listen.

 

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