I was having a conversation with a friend this week and she said one of the things she struggles with is, she wants big neon signs from God telling her the answers she is looking for. I often feel the same way. I want a clear and concise answer from God. But God doesn’t work that way.
It’s not that God doesn’t give us answers. God always gives us answers. I think that most often the problem is that we don’t get the answers we were looking for, so we look for a different one or try to create the results we want. God’s answers are yes, no, or wait. And if you’re anything like me, only one of those answers is the one I am looking for. When I pray and ask God for something I want Him to provide it for me. I don’t want to wait, I don’t want God to say this isn’t for you. Sometimes I feel like I get angry and think, “God you don’t know me! You don’t know what I need!” But if God doesn’t know me or know what I need, then who does?
I have realized as I have grown in my Christian walk the closer I am to God, the more I get to know Him, the clearer I see His answers. I have also found, that when I don’t get the answers I am looking for, I am able to accept the answers even when I don’t like them. My faith has grown, and I have learned to trust God completely. He has always been faithful and followed through and provided me with more than I need. And even when I have struggled through situations, he has always been faithful in meeting my needs with something better than I could have imagined.
I think the devil uses what we think is God not answering to create doubt in our minds. When we have doubt in our minds, it makes us not trust God and lets the devil into our minds. Doubt can create so much chaos in our lives. We stop trusting God and try to do our own thing. I don’t know about anyone else, but that never works out well for me.
I found this story about doubt recently (adapted from Inspirational Short Stories About Success and Happiness Verusha Singh/Virend Sigh):
One day the devil decided that God had received too much good publicity and he too deserved some publicity for the work he does to make this word an interesting place. He called a major TV news network and, after identifying himself, he arranged an interview.
For the interview, he transported a report and camera crew to Hell and gave them a tour of his “Art Gallery.” His gallery didn’t consist of elements of great art. Instead, his gallery was made up of many rooms varying in size, each one dedicated to a specific item of interest. In one room were piles of gold on a marble table, stacked to the ceiling. “This is my greed room” the devil said, “Greed is one of my most favorite tools.”
Moving to the second room, the devils showed the reporter and his crew a group of men and women enjoying themselves in a cocktail lounge. “This is my infidelity room,” the devil claimed, “This is a place of temptation for many, especially when they are away from home.”
The devil continued the tour of his gallery, proudly presenting rooms with many different vices, drugs alcohol, and many other destructive and harmful items and lifestyles.
Finally, the news crew care to the last room. The devil paused and said, “Herein lies my greatest tool. With this tool, I can accomplish more evil than with all the other tools at my disposal. In fact,” the devil gloated, “without this tool the other tools would not be as effective.”
Excited to see what could be behind this door, the reporter and his crew moved closer to the door and prepared for some amazing footage. The devil opened the door triumphantly. It was a small, plain, room with a small pedestal positioned in the middle and spotlight highlighting a small item on top of the pedestal.
The news crew was greatly disappointed, for it appeared what was on the pedestal was a common door stop. They moved closer to inspect the item, sure they had missed something. As they moved closer they saw a small wedge-shaped object that was very similar to a doorstop.
Bewildered how this common everyday object could be the devils greatest tool, the news crew turned to the devil searching for an explanation. The devil cunningly smiled, “This is the wedge of self-doubt. With it, I can shatter a person’s self-image. I drive this wedge in the back of a person’s mind between their abilities and what is truly possible for them, then I can completely destroy that person. In fact, I use this tool every day to destroy millions of lives.”
I think the devil revels most when he can drive that wedge into our minds and sperate us from God. The best time for that to happen, is when we don’t see our neon signs.
I’m just a Small Town Girl… Living in a world without neon signs.