My mother was one of those people who practiced the old saying, “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” It seems that she passed that quality on to me. Nevertheless, sometimes I (Ray) find myself looking for something in my house and I know where I can find it, but it turns out not to be there. Or sometimes it is there, but I’m just not seeing it. Some people have told me that when I can’t find what I’m looking for I should ask God where it is and He’ll tell me exactly where I’ll find it. Maybe that works for some people, but not for me. Does this mean God can’t or won’t help me? Not at all. It’s just a matter of how He helps. One way God has helped me was by giving me a mind capable of developing techniques for finding things that are lost.
For example, the first technique I use is to review where I was and what I was doing the last time I used the thing I’m looking for. If that doesn’t work, I look beyond the surface and dig a little deeper by picking up things which might have been unintentionally placed on top of what I’m looking for. I also realize that, despite my reputation for being a very orderly person, it’s possible that the thing I’m looking for really isn’t where I know it’s supposed to be. So then I begin to look in any and all of the places it could possibly be. After going through all that without success, I do it all again – sometimes two or three more times. But I still do not give up hope. Finally, I convince myself, or maybe it’s God convincing me, to look one more time.That’s when I find it. That’s when I realize the thing I was looking for was in one of the places I had looked, and I had seen it, but not realized I had seen it. By that time, depending on what mood I’m in, my response is to hang my head in shame for missing the obvious, or to have a big laugh over the whole thing, which was there all the time.
God has also given me something else which helps me find things. God has given me the principles of faith, hope and perseverance and the ability to apply them to locate the thing I am trying to find. You might say God has given me the tools I need, but expects me to do the work of searching and finding material things I have lost or misplaced. And when I use those tools, I get the job done.
I’m thankful that God has given me the tools I need to find lost material things. However, I can also tell you from my experience and what I’ve heard from others, that using your God-given mind and the God-given principals of faith, hope and perseverance also works when I need to find something much more important. I’m, talking about finding answers to questions relating to my purpose in life. How should I live my life? What should I be doing my life? How should I be using my time? I’m talking about finding God-given guidance and direction as I constantly move into the future. My experience is that even though I am retired at age 71, I still need to find guidance and direction from God about what He has planned for me for whatever years I have left in this world. I have a pretty good idea what He wants me to be doing at this time, but I keep searching for what He has planned for me next year.
As I look back at my life, I realize that even when I wasn’t listening for or to God, He was moving me in the direction He had planned for me. And when I strayed too far from the path He had set for me, He somehow moved me back in the right direction.Until there came a time almost 30 years ago when I wasn’t listening. And when I did reluctantly listen, I refused to accept His plans for me. I said no to God. During the next few years things did not go so well for me. Finally, I went through the worst year of my life, but at the end of that year, I asked God for guidance and direction, I listened, I understood, and I said yes to God. Since then I’ve continued to do that. And I have found that God continues to give me not only guidance and direction, but the ability to do whatever that is, in the right way, at the right time. This blog that Patty (my friend and partner in ministry) and I publish every week is one example of what can happen when you turn to God to find the guidance and direction He has planned for you as you go through life, at any and every age. He will give you the tools you need to do what He has planned for you. Just ask Him.
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.