I felt the Lord prompting me to call a friend and have a conversation with her. I felt like he’d given me a specific thing to say to her. I didn’t want to call. It would be awkward for me and awkward for her, but I knew following Jesus was more important and, who knows, He must have a really great plan that I can’t see. I decided to listen to the voice of the Lord and call my friend.
The conversation went worse than I could have imagined.
I hung up the phone, tossed it aside, then punched my mattress and threw a pillow across the room.
Sometimes my own maturity astounds me.
After that, I started crying angry tears and spewing angry words at God. I reprimanded this God that I was supposed to trust and who was supposed to follow through on His promise and cause my human efforts with my friend to produce good fruit. (I don’t remember God promising that, but it sounded like something that God would do and it was definitely something I expected of him).
To continue with the “fight” I decided I was going to prolong my tantrum and I wasn’t going to read my Bible that night. “I’m not doing it,” I said to God. “I’m not talking to you. I’m mad at you. I don’t want to read my Bible, so I’m not going to.”
Of course, I ended up reading it anyway because it was an ingrained habit and I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep if I didn’t.
One of the verses I read was in 1st Timothy where it says, “God desires all men to be saved.”
I tossed my Bible on my bedside table and said to God, “Well that’s not true. If you desired all men to be saved, all men would be saved. Either that, or you’re not as sovereign as we think you are.”
Yes. I said that to God. I’m not proud of it, but this story lays the foundation for a few weeks later when I was in a similar position
There was one particular church in Charlotte that I felt the Lord laying on my heart while I was raising support for Mexico. My repeated attempts to get in touch with them received no response from the pastor who ran the missions department. Normally, I’d just let it go, but I felt the Lord prompting me to continue to pursue them. At one point I started to think this was no longer for support-raising. Maybe God wanted me to pray for this church, for this pastor. Maybe it wasn’t about me. Maybe it was about them.
I finally received a call from the head of the missions committee who told me he wouldn’t be able to pull anyone together to listen to me during the week I was going to be in Charlotte.
Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to keep pursuing this church.
On my way to Charlotte, I felt prompted to call them one more time. I was not happy. I’m not a pushy person and this was taking me far beyond a place where I was comfortable. I didn’t want to annoy this church again. But, after an hour of rehearsing what I was going to say, I finally decided that if it weren’t from God, he could close the door with no harm done. If it were from God and I didn’t call, I’d always wonder what would have happened if I had called.
So I called him again to see if he would meet with me by himself. He was out of town. Door closed. No fireworks or magic flares.
And I was angry again. Because, if you follow God, big things are supposed to happen and you aren’t supposed to feel embarrassed or get hurt, right? Wrong.
I was mad at God and remembered my tantrum from a few weeks ago. It started again and I told God I was mad at him once more. “I’m going to listen to secular music!” I cried at the ceiling of my car.
I could hear my inner self taunting me, “Wow, you’re such a badass, Katherine. Secular music? I bet that will hurt God’s feelings.”
I ignored my inner self and jammed the button to turn on the radio.
Journey’s “Don’t stop Believing” was blaring at me through the speakers. I started laughing through my tears. “Not funny, God!” I said. But it was funny. And, sadly, it was sweet.
A few hours later I had arrived at the house of my friend Casey. I started telling her this story beginning with the phone conversation with my friend. When I got to the part about the church, I inadvertently said the name of the church.
She started, “What did you say the name of the church was?”
I told her.
“That’s my church,” she said. “That’s where I attend and that’s where I work.”
I was momentarily stunned. Then I said, “Well that’s just stupid,” because I still wanted to be angry, but I felt like God was giving me confirmation that it had been his voice and I just didn’t want to believe he’d have me stick my neck out for nothing.
But it wasn’t nothing. Casey confirmed the pastor that I’d been praying for did indeed need prayer. She was excited that I’d been praying for her church without knowing it was her church. She then said, “Sometimes God asks us to plant seeds and we never get to see the fruit.”
Which reminded me of a calling I’d felt years ago. 1 Corinthians 3:7-9 says, “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.”
I’m a planter. It’s how I shepherd people. I like to plant seeds in people’s minds and hearts and then sit back and watch God cause the growth.
Only, I don’t like it when I don’t get to see the growth. But it’s God who causes the growth and it’s God who pays the wages. He doesn’t promise we will get to see that growth.
It just makes me more grateful for the days I do get to see the growth. And it makes me realize that I have no idea what seeds are being planted or how or when God is making that seed grow.
It makes me feel stupid for being angry with God but also so humbled and grateful that he took time to show me these things and speak to me in a way I could understand.
Don’t stop believin’.