“What do you want me to do Lord?” How many times have I asked that question? I couldn’t even tell you, probably at least a hundred times if not more. For a year and a half that has been the question I've been asking the Lord since I quit that all-consuming job. The job that had gobbled up any life I had left in me. I knew I needed a fresh start, to do something I loved but that also had meaning that would make a difference. But what would that be? I knew I loved to cook, entertain, teach, and write but could something be molded out of those passions that would be relevant and connect with people? That God could somehow use for a bigger purpose? I didn’t and still to some degree don’t know. Are these things a distraction from something more important? What exactly is my purpose? Is there something specific that I’m called to do? Oh, the questions. And oh my sweet husband, the poor soul that has had the not-so-great privilege of listening to my diatribe on the subject.
To be fair, the Lord has answered my question. But the answer I was given wasn't what I wanted to hear, it was so basic. I guess I should probably take a moment for a station break and clarify about this talking to God thing. Now I’m sure there are those who think I’m nuts, hearing voices in my head or otherwise. As a Christian I believe that the Bible is God’s living and active word (Hebrews 4:12) and that He uses it in our daily life (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible tells us that:
1. He hears us: 1 John 5:14-15 NIV “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.”
2. We can hear his voice: John 10:3-4 NIV “The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
Isaiah 30:21 NIV “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
Revelation 3:20 NIV “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
So what was His answer to my “What do you want me to do Lord?” question. His answer has always been consistent. “Spend time with me in prayer, in my Word and be on the look-out and ready when I prompt you in the day by day, moment by moment opportunities.” This wasn't new information, I knew this, because basically this is what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus Christ and to live out that faith in Him.
But I kept telling the Lord, I have been doing this…isn’t there something else I could also do? Silence. Honestly it’s been a little frustrating, until recently, I sort of had an epiphany. I was reading my Bible in the book of Mark 10:46-52 it is a story about Bartimaeus a blind beggar who receives his sight. The scene unfolds with Jesus and his disciples getting ready to leave the city of Jericho, with a large crowd trailing behind. Bartimaeus was said to be a blind beggar sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus who was coming by he shouted “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many in the crowd told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more. Jesus stopped. And said “Call him.” So they called the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Bartimeaus threw off his cloak, jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. And then, Jesus asks him “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” Jesus said, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Suddenly, it was like someone finally turned on the light and I could see. It finally dawned on me that I have been asking God the wrong question, “What do you want me to do?” “What can I do for you?” When all the while I think He’s been trying to ask me “What do you want me to do for you?” I've been blind and truthfully I’m not sure I was prepared for that question from Him.
Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
When at my core I am delighting myself in the Lord, and I am making time with Him a priority, in prayer, in His word and then with responding by looking for those God ordained moments to step into, that maybe the “what” I’m doing is negotiable. I’m not sure. It’s a new thought for me. So my new question is, “Father, will you help me identify and name the desires of my heart, and will you cause my hearts’ desire to line up with will.”
That perhaps is a better question.-s