About two whole hours after last week’s post went live, I’m sitting at my desk and in comes a fellow employee sharing her good news. She was just offered a job at Texas Tech University. It’s really hard to get a job at Texas Tech. I have applied there what feels like a million times. Even getting an interview is hard! It’s all about who you know and who can send their letters of recommendation first. I’d like to say I was happy for her, but I wasn’t. My brain was going a million miles per hour trying to understand why she got a job and I couldn’t. God said “Be still and listen”. I listened. She says “I have been working here for six years…” and I’m thinking “Jesus, you want me to wait 6 years? That’s what you wanted me to hear? I can’t wait 6 years!” After she returned to her desk, I start to complain. Why God why? I start to argue with God and all He says is “Be still.” It’s not a gentle “Be still”. It’s like a lion “Be still”. I don’t know if you have ever listened to BBC’s Focus on the Family Radio Theatre. Yes, I listen to radio theatre sometimes. I have ADHD I can’t sit still and read a whole book so I listen while I work. Anyway, they have the entire Chronicles of Narnia series and the man who does the voice of Aslan is perfect. He has the perfect lion voice, and when he raises his voice – well let’s just say he gets the message across. When God speaks to me, this is the voice I hear, so when you hear this great lion voice telling you to be still you are as still as can be – or as still as someone with ADHD can be. It wouldn’t be the first time He tells me to be still.
There is a woman from my old church that I consider a mentor. She is wonderful and patient, but she’s also stern when she needs to be. She will scold me when I need to be scolded and hold me when I need to be held. Being so far away from my mom, she is exactly the kind of person that I need in my life. A few months ago, we were leaving a friend’s house and making our way back to church. We are in the median lane waiting to turn. In the distance, we see a truck coming down the road. The driver is reckless. I don’t know if the driver is drunk or the breaks don’t work, but that truck was coming straight for us. At one point, the truck is on the wrong side of the road, and we are just sitting there, in a minivan, with three children in the back arguing over whose turn it is to use the tablet. As the truck gets closer I think “This is a little scary”, but God just said “Be Still” (in his great lion voice). Instantly, peace surrounds us. We were not scared. We did not panic. We were just still. When the truck was directly in front of us, the driver swerved left and kept driving. The kids never even knew how close that truck was. I don’t know what happened to that driver. We watched behind us as he ran the stop sign a few streets down. My friend’s husband is a police officer. He was informed of what happened, but without a license plate number it’s hard to find someone with a ball cap in an old Chevrolet pickup in that country road in good ole Lubbock, Texas. Sometime when I am upset, I think back on this moment. God was right there. He knew that driver was coming our way. It’s human nature to panic, but what would have happened if we had panicked? What if we had ignored His pleas to be still? We could have turned to try to get out of his way right as he turned to avoid hitting us and our lives would be very different right now.
On this same day when that co-worker announced she was leaving the firm, I sat in the conference room talking to my boss. We started talking about Hurricane Harvey and all of the destruction. My whole life I grew up along the gulf coast. This isn’t my first hurricane, but this is by far the worst I’ve seen. My boss remembered this and asked about my family. My parents are fine. The storm missed them completely. My brother was stuck in his Houston apartment for days, but he was safe. There was no water damage. He had plenty of food. The instant my boss asked about my family I realized what I had done. I spent my entire morning in a miserable mood arguing with God about what He hasn’t given me and this entire time He has been answering so many of my prayers. I was so scared that if the hurricane reached my parents they would lose all power and my father’s medical equipment needs power. They never lost power. What if the roads flooded and Dad needed to get to a hospital, but couldn’t because of all the water? The rain was not enough to cause flooding in the area where my parents live. When the hurricane made landfall and I knew my brother was staying behind, I prayed God keep him safe, and He did. When I saw just how bad the flooding in Houston was I prayed my brother would not run out of food and warm blankets. He didn’t. I prayed that He keep my family safe through this storm and He did. If I had just been still like He told me to I would have seen the ways He blessed me this morning alone.
It’s hard to fix our eyes on God and just be still. This world is busy. This world tells you that if you can’t find the perfect job right out of college you are a failure. If we were just still for a few seconds we would know that God’s plan is so much bigger than that job. God gave me a passion and He wants me to use that passion to further His kingdom. I haven’t discovered what that purpose is, but, in the meantime, I promise to be still… but Jesus, You also gave me ADHD so this might take a little practice.