When I returned to work with the girls a few weeks ago from maternity leave, I walked in with confidence thinking I had all the details of our family schedule nicely ironed out for the fall. But with just one phone call everything seemed to unravel faster than a sweater caught on a nail. My precious schedule in all it’s complexity was looking to be completely undone. Like a house of cards, if one thing went, it all went down. In that one phone call, I was suddenly looking at possibly quitting my job, not putting Ellyana in preschool after all, having to find another job with 2 kids factoring in, and all for just 6 months or so before we leave for the mission field. How was I going to pull her out when I went to all the trouble to get her in? How was I going to find another job on the whim with my circumstances and this economy? How was I going to work out volunteering on Tuesdays with a new job? And the most immediate question, how on earth was I going to find someone to watch Ellyana 20 hours a week for 3 weeks in just 2 days (the phone call)??
I went home completely disheveled and all but frantic. What was this? Was this the enemy messing with me and the Lord’s plan for us? Was this me not being faithful & listening? Was this the world acting well, worldly? Or was this the Lord? My mind spun like a washing machine with every scenario possible and each one looked worse than the last one. But then there was a pause between cycles. My sister called me accidentally that afternoon and after I told her about my predicament she was quiet for a second and then said, “Well, I can’t believe this but I’m looking at my schedule and I’m actually free every morning for the next 3 weeks. I’ll take care of her, no problem.” What?? Within hours God had answered my first question! Done.
But I was still a ways away from learning my lesson. In the weeks that followed I became increasingly more paranoid about the other variables. I started reading into things at work, which lead me to making assumptions, and before I knew it I was all tied up in a spiritual knot. I couldn’t have heard God if He’d been standing right next to me using a megaphone. Much less that still, small voice. Then time was up. I had to make a decision about quitting work or staying because preschool was starting the next week.
As I prayed last night I decided to read Judges chapter 6. I poured over Gideon and the fleece and then a thought came to me. Tell work about the things that need to happen there for you to stay and if they don’t agree then take that as God telling you to quit. If they do, then He’s telling you to stay. Throw the fleece out there and see what He does with it.
So, that’s what I did today. I met with the personnel committee and laid my fleece out there. To my astonishment they agreed to everything I said and even offered me a few extra hours for the fall!
Lesson one: when things come unraveled, address it right away. Don’t stew in it until you can’t think straight.
Lesson two: if you have stewed in it too long and you can’t hear Him clearly, don’t give up. Just give Him another avenue to speak to you through.
36 Then Gideon said to God, “ If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken, 37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.” 38 And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “ Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.” 40 God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.