Looking Back Over Your Shoulder

In 1 Kings 19:9-13 Elijah was exhausted and hiding in a cave from Jezebel who wanted his life. Twice the Lord came to Elijah and asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” And twice Elijah gave the same answer. The story has been made known because the Lord said Elijah was to go stand on the mountain and watch because the Lord would be passing by. After the wind, and the earthquake and the fire, when Elijah heard the sheer silence, he went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. Some translations says God was in the silence via a still small voice.

There have been times when I have lived and moved in obedience to the Lord, not always even understanding that He was leading me. Yet His still small voice confirmed His presence, albeit later.

I was taught courage at an early age. Most every Sunday afternoon my parents would drop us off at the movie theater. Though she was two years older, my sister was too introverted to ask for tickets at the movie theater. The story goes that I could barely be seen by the lady in the booth. Regardless, I would ask for the tickets and probably gave her the money, too.

Many years later when my family fell into chaos it was my courage and willingness to speak truth that got my sister and I out of the house safely.

Another example started in high school. We had to choose a topic for a paper. I decided I wanted to write about the Cincinnati Workhouse. I obtained permission to tour the women’s section. I think my mom drove me there, but honestly, I do not remember. Why was that paper important? Many years later when given the opportunity to teach a women’s study in the County Jail it seemed just a good idea to me. No fear, no hesitation. Had I not written that paper or learned about courage, would I have been obedient to the Lord when the time came? I think He prepared me, His servant, for those events.

More often than not, I see the hand of the Lord over my shoulder, after the fact. This is not a mind game, but the reality of our Living Lord working through His Holy Spirit.

This hymn sums it up for me. Listen to at least the first minute!

Can you reflect upon your life and see how God has led you along the journey? Likely I could list many other examples, but more important is for you to reflect on your experiences and discern His hand at work.

James Hollis said, “Learning to live with ambiguity is learning to live with how life really is, full of complexities and strange surprises.”

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