We are presently conducting a United Methodist Church Lay Servant School in Marion District and I have prayed for all of us, teachers and students alike, to focus on God and His direction for our lives and to be open in our hearts and minds. Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” comes to mind. Godly advice is sometimes easy for me to discern, but I can remember a time when I missed it because I was not as far along in my journey of faith as I needed to be in order to recognize it. I look back now and smile. God had sent me an answer but I overlooked it.
When my first husband passed away, I naturally was upset and as I approached the fifth month, I experienced a particularly difficult evening. I became distraught, crying and alone. I wondered what was ahead for me. I’d prayed to God for help, but I needed human contact too. I reached out by phone to my parents. They were seven hundred miles away and felt helpless, but tried to encourage me and make me feel better. My father finally said to me, “Isn’t there a book you could read?” He knew I loved to read and I thought was trying to distract me from my troubles.Yes, I smile now, because at the time it went over my head. I thought my father meant a book to distract me from my concerns and told him that there was no book that I had capable of doing that. My dad never spoke of his faith in God and he would have been the very last person I would have thought might have delivered an answer to my dilemna. My heavenly Father had used him to direct me to His Word, which has an answer for everything if we but study it, but I missed the answer. I now have reached the point in my faith walk where I understand the value of Scripture and go to it for solace and encouragement. How I wish I’d recognized the answer that night. I was surrounded by darkness in more ways than one and I missed the Light when it was offered to me. May we all remember to look to the Light and realize that God might use “unlikely” means to answer our prayers. Listen, for He will answer!