Why does God move so quickly for some and not for others? Why does He sometimes come as a “still small voice” and at other times “in the midst of a storm?”
Not too long ago, my life was a very different thing. One broken relationship followed after another and I was left cold, downcast, and unable to pray. Rather than “seek up,” I had chosen a course for myself that I knew was wrong. It had become an idol for me. In spite of various warnings, I was determined to have it my own way. I was fortunate that God had better plans, even if it took a storm to reach me.
I had been too stubborn to head the whispers, and in truth there were plenty of shouts I also disregarded. Yet, although I’d given up on God, He’d not given up on me. In the end, it took having my heart broken for me to be healed in the way I’d been seeking for so many years. Everything that I’d been holding on to, every past regret and resentment, was ripped away from me in one fell swoop. The lesson was great, but I was not a willing student. Though the method of instruction seemed so harsh, I was grateful once I understood its purpose.
Sometimes we have to fall in order to find the strength to stand.
I was grateful that God lifted me up from those trying times and am grateful still that I stand stronger now in faith. God rewarded my faithlessness and used my adversity to redirect my path. He taught me that I had to love Him first – and myself – before I could love somebody else. In spite of my impatience and strong will in the past, He was quick to bring someone into my life who I could share my faith and life with. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t thank Him for being harsh in correcting me, though it certainly took some time before I was able to.
When things are going well in our lives, it’s easy to forget God. In the beginning, we thank Him for providing for us in whatever way we desired, but over time, we focus more on our provision than its source. And if that provision gets taken away, we are the first to accuse God of being faithless. (I know, because this was my initial reaction to the turmoil that I so vaguely described above.) We take issue with Him though we seek to understand the greater purpose. We ask “why?” Sometimes the answer is obvious and we ask only to express our frustration and other times we ask from the depths of our doubt trying to make sense of what we cannot comprehend. Sometimes we won’t get an answer. We wait for God.
Yet, I’ve no doubt that in these times of trouble, God is present and is speaking. Whether as a still small voice or a raging storm, He is working. All we can do is remember His faithfulness and trust that in every adversity there is some lesson He is crafting, if only we would be patient to receive it. We need only prepare our hearts.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
"The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord… A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:1&9)