Lenten Devotional: Saturday, Feb. 20

by Hope Cook

1 Kings 19:11-13: And He said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice unto him and said, “What doest thou here, Elijah?”

Dear Lord,

What’s going on?  What do you want me to be doing?  I look around and see so much need in the world.  Yet I am in my bubble of ignorant bliss with two healthy kids, a job, and education, a house, food, warmth, no fear for my family’s safety.  I keep feeling called to do something.  Is it in my head or is it You?  Do you want me to stay in this field of medicine?  Am I really helping people by popping zits, cutting off warts, and recommending Botox?  Shouldn’t you be using me in a war torn country working for Peace Corp or maybe on Mercy Ships?  Do you want me to convince my family to move to Africa and make a real difference?  Or should I make a difference from home?  Or should I stay put and just pray for those in need?  Or maybe I should donate the money that you’ve given us through having good jobs–money can help, right?  Maybe I should learn Swahili just in case you decide to send me to Kenya.  Or then again, maybe I should follow every medical mission blog and refugee aide blog I can find and at least keep my awareness on those in need and maybe you’ll speak to me through a blog post.  Maybe you’ll speak through my meditations…I know what I can do–I will check out a book on dream interpretation and try to figure out if/how you’re speaking to me through my dreams.  Maybe I should join a Bible study and someone in the group or some lesson plan might speak to me.  Maybe a silent retreat would work, that would be the ideal situation for you to speak to me.  God, I will even go see a therapist to see if you’ll speak to me through her.  What do you want me to do??  Just name it and I’ll do it.

At this point, I see myself as a chihuahua yipping and yapping at God’s feet, panting and eagerly waiting for my master’s instruction.  A loud, booming voice pops into my imagination (like James Earl Jones), “BE STILL, my child, and KNOW that I AM GOD”.  This pretty much hushes me up for a few hours, sometimes a few days.

I am embarrassed to admit that I have actually done most of the above things lately in a desperate attempt to find out what God wants me to do.  And, He has sort of spoken.  He showed me a scripture passage (see above) and I think it fits.

Prayer: God, help me to be patient and still.  To be still and wait on your  small voice to guide me.  Help me to realize that I don’t have to move mountains or adopt 12 orphans.  I can be still until you speak.  I can at least try.