I was going through the unpublished drafts in my blog file today, and found something I'd written two years ago.
At the time, I was worn out from the practice of medicine and had taken some time off. I'd go back to medicine after Christmas, I thought, when I had done some of the things I'd planned. It would work out perfectly.
God must have laughed.
Looking back, even I'm laughing at the plans I made. I wanted to expand my little publishing company. Write and publish the two books I'd been pondering. Build tiny cabins on my farm and rent them out. Start an agritourism business. Go back into a different kind of medical practice.
As I pondered my future, there were so many things I wanted to do that I finally did the only thing that made sense. I asked the Lord to clarify my "next step".
It seemed like ages passed as I waited for God to make my path clear. As I prayed, the only answer I received was "safe pastures". More than one time I asked God what kind of answer that was. I needed something I could recognize.
In the meantime, I looked at my own pastures and did what needed to be done. Weed eating. Watering. Mowing. Building raised beds. Gardening. And, of course, writing.
I began to wonder whether He'd told me what to do and I'd missed it. It didn't seem like it at the time, but now I know that those months were actually spent resting in safe pastures. He was training me as an effective writer and digital communicator. He was expanding my reach.
So much time had passed, that I had forgotten all about the prayer for "next steps". When I read those words today, they were like a lightning bolt from heaven.
I instantly remembered one Sunday a few months ago when our pastor announced the new sermon series. Next Steps. That day, we'd all bowed our heads and asked God for our next step.
That day, God answered my prayer from two years earlier with such clarity I'm still astounded.
Of course, God knew the plan all along, but He had some fine-tuning to do first. If He'd told me back then that my next step was at Global Outreach, (especially doing a combination of intercessory prayer and digital outreach) I'd have balked.
"Who would want to do work like that?" I'd have asked Him.
Today, I know the answer to my own question. The one who's called to it is the one who will do it (even if it seems like too hard a job), because obedience matters.
If you're in a transition place, maybe you're asking the same question. "What's the next step?"
Take a lesson from my experience. While you wait, do whatever God places before you. Be faithful. Keep seeking. At just the right time, He'll surprise you with the beauty of His plan and the breadth of His orchestration. You'll find out the same truth I learned.
God's plan is worth the wait.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and nor for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Lou's Grave Garden
Here's the link to the prayer guide: The Prayer List
Here's the link to my Global Outreach page: Leanna Hollis M.D.