*While your regular Saturday Hoper, Eve, spends time with her sweet new babe – we have been blessed to welcome in voices of wisdom who are writing to encourage you. Today’s post is by Alysun Ogilby, a mother of three fantastic kids and a huge fan of dance parties. Her family, aka Team Ogilby, have made it their mission to be love.
I heard a small voice with a big request. “Quit your jobs.”
I knew I must be losing my mind.
There was no way that my kids and I could survive if I quit my jobs. I was a single mom working every free moment watching other kids along with my own, waitressing when my kids were with their dad, event-coordinating for my brother’s business during naptime, and cooking dinners for my neighbors. God had gently called me to rest. I, ever so politely, declined. He asked again, a little louder, this time using customers and the restaurant, nudges from friends, and concerned family. Again, I held tightly to what I thought I had to do to ‘make it’, neglecting the promises He made me and the track record He kept. And then everything started to fall apart.
David was found, a young man, and anointed for the position of king. In I Samuel 6:13 the Bible says: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.”
Imagine for a minute, being called in from tending sheep, the youngest of his gaggle of brothers, and accepting the promise of the throne. The throne! But then, before the promise of the throne became a reality, life was full waiting and waiting and waiting for many years and through countless heartaches. David would have quite the journey until He was finally brought to the place He was destined to be. David would have to continually make choices based on what He knew to be true about the God He loved… including letting the man go that continually tried to take his life.
Have you ever been in a place where you are forced to believe God’s promises? Where all you have to rely on is His track record of never giving up and keeping His Word? Did that make the wait any easier? Were you able to look back and see where God had taken care of you?
My downward spiral started with a car crash. It was followed closely by an illness that left me bedridden. Next? An unshakeable exhaustion. Of course I was exhausted from working every possible moment and raising my children, but how could I possibly quite my jobs? I finally cried out to God in submission and sent notes to women that I love and trust – explaining what I thought God had been asking. I thought for sure they would reply back that I had heard Him incorrectly. To my surprise, they all agreed that I had heard Him clearly!
One by one, I walked away from each job. The only hope I had was that I believed God was commanding it. I had no idea how I would pay my bills, feed my kids, or make ends meet… but I did know that God would hold me close.
And that He did. In big ways. Money was sent to me anonymously. Bills were somehow paid in full. Food was on the table. Most days there was simply just enough and we were thankful. But there were also moments of abundance like a free trip to Mexico with one of my best friends. In little and in much, we gave thanks. What I could not have seen, was the way God was setting me up for our next adventure. One job. One job I could not have designed more perfectly for our family.
David constantly put one foot in front of the other, carefully obeying and honoring the Lord. And even when He didn’t obey or honor the Lord, He let guide God his next step… and then the one after that… His journey to the throne was not easy, nor was it short, but each piece was a lesson that needed to be learned. Imagine waiting behind a rock to hear if the King truly wanted you dead (the same King who sat on the throne that was promised to you.)
What do you think David was feeling? And when he had the opportunity to kill that king and take the seat that was rightfully his, how must his heart have been conflicted? Time after time David pleads to King Saul and not only spares his life, he HONORS him. He shows him respect. He even bows down before him. He could have killed Saul to save himself and take the throne, but David ultimately knew that the only way he wanted the title was when God was ready for him to have it.
I had no idea what God was doing when He asked me to leave my jobs; I thought it was punishment for refusing to listen all the times He asked me to rest. Oftentimes we cannot see the ‘why’ for what’s in front of us. We see our poor circumstances instead of opportunities to see God work. In a Beth Moore Bible study, she posed the question, “What if God doesn’t give you something that comes naturally to other people because He wants to give it to you supernaturally?”
Instead of focusing on what waits ahead, what if we could intentionally value the time spent walking with God on the journey to what He holds out for us? What if we spent our energies on strengthening the Spirit-led ability to hear His voice above the lies? If we trusted that He wasn’t just waiting at the end or at the one big Promise, we could choose to see that He is indeed directing each step and offering little lessons of love along the way from His heart as a wise Father. If we could trust our Dad, each step at a time, maybe then the journey will feel a little less like waiting and a little more like anticipation.