“The Lord will guide you always…” (Isaiah 58:11a, NIV 2011).
We had been back from Nigeria for 18 years; most of that time I had spent in private practice. My son was about to graduate from high school. We would be empty nesters and I could hear God calling. Once again I had the possibility of returning to the mission field---back to Africa.
I prayed with my wife and we communicated with each other to the degree that I understood communication. We both knew that God was calling us into a new adventure.
My eyes and heart were set on an opportunity in the Cameroon. In order to move forward toward that opportunity, there was paperwork to be done. Mine was quickly completed but I kept watching the dust gather on my wife’s.
Finally, one Sunday morning as we were getting ready for church, I walked into the bathroom where she was brushing her hair.
I spoke softly, with great kindness, “You haven’t filled out your application.”
I can see now in slow motion how she raised that plastic hairbrush above her head, then lowered it onto the bathroom sink with such force that the plastic shattered all over the bathroom.
“You’re not listening to me!” she shouted. “If God calls me to Africa, I will go to Africa; but God is not calling me to Africa.”
I took a deep breath, walked out of the room and checked Africa off of my list.
God had something better.
Sometimes it is easy to hear what God is saying. He shouts it through your wife with plastic flying everywhere. God did not want us back in Africa; He had far better plans. I just needed for Him to speak loudly enough to overcome the plans that were drumming away with my own tune of personal desire.
God is good like that. We may really want His will, but, in spite of our good intentions, we may start off heading in the wrong direction. Our faith should be strong enough to trust God that He will correct us if our good intentioned way is wrong. If our hearts are right and we want His will more than our own, He will get us on the right path, whatever it takes. I’m just glad the brush hit the countertop and not my head.
Thank you that you continue to lead me onto your path, even when I am looking down many others.