I often say that there are times I feel as if God pops me upside my head. He probably feels the same way I do, as a mom of 3, when someone asks me where something is, and I describe in detail where it is, and they still cannot find it. And I usually end up saying, “It’s right there in front of your face.”
When I feel overwhelmed, or not accomplished or like I have prayed and prayed without any sort of answer, God is usually saying, “I put it right there in front of you.” Or, “All you have to do is pay attention and I’ve given you the answer or the next step, etc.”
So, how does God get my attention? I feel it’s different for everyone. The way He gets my attention, may not be the same way He gets yours. You may not be as stubborn as I am or you may not need “signs” and confirmations like I do. But usually He can finally get my attention by repetitiveness. You want an example? I just finished a Bible study by Annie F. Downs called “Looking for Lovely”. Now first, let me say that it took me a long time to finish it. Not because it was long or because I am that busy. But because I am a procrastinator, because I allow other things to get in the way, oh and I have a real problem with finishing things. So anyways, with that study, almost every chapter you do, It asks you to read Roman’s 5:3-5 and then fill in this little thing that basically says, “affliction=endurance+character+hope.”
I filled in those blanks so many times, that even when it had been weeks since I had picked up that book, I could still fill in the blanks. But did I really get the meaning?
Like I said before, I have a problem with finishing things. I start really strong, with a great plan and somewhere towards the middle or sometimes right after the start, I take a nose dive. I do this with diet and exercise. I do it with long term plans with my kids like, “I am buying this devotional and we are going to do it together, every day.” Well I did buy the book and that’s as far as it went. They are now doing it on their own. I do it with daily bible reading and bible study. I do it with my taxes. Those are just a few examples.
So after I finished that other study, I have lots of studies, books, etc. lined up to read next. And then somehow a couple of weeks went by without me starting any of them. So then I decided to do a book on my audible app so I could listen as I clean. At least pour some type of study or Godly stuff into myself. So I started listening to “Girl, wash your face.” And I think it was chapter 3 that was talking about that if you can’t depend on yourself to finish things, then how could others? It was saying that our actions play a big part in how others see us. And also God needed to depend on us. If He is telling us to do something, we need to do it. The more we follow through, the more character it builds, etc. And yes, there will be hard times but that’s how we grow. BOOM!!! Basically a longer version of the blanks I had filled in week after week. But it doesn’t stop there.
I teach a Children’s Sunday School class. But the women’s class still gave me a book of the bible study they are doing. They have been doing it for awhile now but I had never opened the book. The over a week ago, it ended up that I got to be in the women’s class. I really enjoyed their study that day and decided I would start it next.
So today, I started it. It’s a study on Ruth, but it’s also about not giving up on things. Ironic? Oh there’s more. I open it up and read the introduction and then start day 1. The very first verse it wants you to read – Romans 5:3-4. Yep, the verses I read week after week with the other study. And one of the first things it asked me to list? The 3 things that come after affliction. Yep, basically the same blanks I filled in time after time in the other study.
I basically put the book down, and said, “ok God, I get it. You are trying to teach me something. You are wanting me to learn something I obviously haven’t learned yet. You are trying to get my attention.”
And that is one way God gets my attention. It’s up to me to pay attention. It’s up to me to listen. I am thankful that He doesn’t give up. That He doesn’t think of me as unworthy to keep trying.
How does God get your attention?