Several years ago I was at a point where I knew God was leading me volunteer for something new in our church. However, for quite some time, I didn't know what it was. I could feel God working in me and providing me with a willing heart, but I just couldn't figure out where He wanted me to be.
After several months of seeking, I received a letter in the mail one day from the Children's Sunday School Director at our church. The letter had actually gone out to many people in our church, but as I began to read I felt like it had been mailed only to me. Our children's Sunday School department was in dire need of Sunday School teachers. I had, actually, known for awhile that they were in need of teachers, but did not know how strong the need really was and had never even considered teaching. That is, until the moment I read that letter. It as like God was speaking the words of that letter directly to me.
The following day I called Chris, our wonderful Children's Sunday School director. She was not in her office at the church that day. At the time I thought nothing of it as I knew she was not there but a couple of days during the week and just figured I had called on one of the days she was not there. I left a message on her voicemail assuming I would hear back from her soon.
However, after about a week and a half I had heard nothing. At first I thought this was rather odd as I knew Chris to be the type of person that would always follow up on phone messages. Especially when there was such a need for teachers. Then, I began to worry that maybe I had heard God wrong. Maybe teaching wasn't where He wanted me. Maybe I had mis-heard. Maybe I still had no idea of the direction in which God was leading. Then, Satan really began to cause me to doubt by placing thoughts in my head such as, "Maybe Chris doesn't want you to be a teacher. Maybe she doesn't think you are good enough."
While the situations are completely different, I would imagine that Ruth felt a bit like I did when Boaz told her that there was someone else that was a closer relative. Someone else to be asked to marry Ruth. Can you even imagine? Ruth took a big step to go to Boaz and ask him to marry her. I would guess she felt like she was WAY out of her comfort zone. But, because of her faith and because of her love for Noami, she steps out and goes to Boaz.
Then, once she does so, she finds out that while Boaz is willing they must first check with someone else. They need to ask another relative if he would be willing to marry her. Someone she doesn't know. Someone she has never met. And, she must wait for the answer. She must sleep thru the night and then go back home to Naomi the next day and just wait.
Do you think that maybe Ruth questioned whether she had heard God correctly? Maybe Boaz wasn't the one as she and Naomi had thought? Would God really have her marry someone she did not know? Would God really direct her to Boaz only to then lead her to someone completely different? Maybe Boaz didn't want to marry her and was trying to get "off the hook"?
When Ruth goes back to Naomi and shares the story with her, Noami tells her to "stay put". She probably didn't say these words meaning, "Don't leave the house" or "Don't do anything". Her meaning was probably more along the lines of "Don't waver", "Trust God", "Remain steady until God shows the answer".
That is where I struggle so much. As I shared above, I let the doubts and the insecurities set in and take control over my thoughts. But, when I calm down and "stay put" it always works out. In the particular story I began sharing above, that is exactly how it played out. On the way to church almost 2 weeks later, I was sharing with my husband some of my feelings. He strongly encouraged me to just check with Chris that morning. And, why I didn't think of that before is beyond me. I certainly could have picked up the phone anytime during those two weeks and checked with her. And, I saw her every Sunday morning as she was always out and about in the hallways of the children's Sunday School classrooms. I always passed her and talked as we were dropping our children off each week.
So, on that morning when I saw her I just asked if she had gotten the message I had left for her several weeks before. She said she had not. And, then when I explained why I had called she expressed such excitement. (Yea... I really need to quit allowing Satan to work with my insecurities!)
I have now been teaching in a children's Sunday School class for almost two years and absolutely love it. Each child is so very special and I have the opportunity to assist in laying down their foundation in the Lord. And, best of all? I have absolutely no doubts that this is where the Lord wanted me all along!
As we later discovered, Chris' office phone had been working poorly for quite some time and sometime prior to me leaving that message had stopped notifying her when she had a message. Something so simple as a malfunctioning phone led me down the road of doubt and insecurity. God's power and love is so strong, but I almost let that bad phone keep me from doing what I knew was God's will for my life.
I am learning (slowly, but I am learning) that when I am patient and wait for God that He always shows up. He and I don't always work on the same time schedule and I must always remember and commit to working within His timeframe and not mine. Will you join me in praying for God to help us always wait and always trust Him?