Last night, as I was putting the finishing touches on dinner, Jason grabbed the remote to pull up a show. But for some reason, the player kept saying "Network Error." There wasn't anything wrong with our internet, but the player simply did not want to cooperate. "Do you want to just watch a movie?" I asked, sensing that Jason was growing frustrated with the finicky system. "How about Prince Caspian?" I asked, remembering that we had spoken about both the book and movie several times recently. He agreed, and we settled in for the evening.
For those of you not familiar with C.S. Lewis' Narnia stories, they are allegories of the Christian life. The lion, Aslan, is representative of the Lord, and the Pevensie children represent mankind. At this particular point in the story, life is difficult for the Narnians. An evil enemy has driven them into hiding, and the Narnians wonder where Aslan is and how he could allow such things to happen. When the Pevensie children arrive and see the predicament of the Narnians, Peter the High King, decides to take matters into his own hands. When Lucy, his younger sister, points out that they should seek direction from Aslan, Peter's response is "I think we've waited for Aslan long enough."
When I heard that statement last night, I couldn't hold back the words that bubbled forth, "And that's when we get ourselves into trouble--when we get tired of waiting on the Lord to work on our behalf and take matters into our own hands." I had no idea at the time that those words were just the beginning of some spiritual insight. Sure enough, Peter's plan falls apart, costing many Narnians their lives, and in the end, he was reminded that it's always best to wait for the direction of the Lord (or Aslan in his case).
After the movie, Jason and I pulled out our devotion book, My Utmost for His Highest, and opened to the bookmarked page. This is what Oswald Chambers had to say, "There are times when you can't understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive, don't fill it with busyness, just wait. . .Never run before God gives you His direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt--wait."
Needless to say, we didn't make it past the second sentence before we were both rolling with laughter. It was just too hilarious. The fact of the matter is that Jason and I have been battling with a decision. We've discussed it with each other. We've prayed about it. We've weighed out the pros and cons. But we could not get peace about it one way or another. Earlier this week, as I prayed, I asked God to make His will blatantly clear. I confessed that the step we were contemplating was a good step in some respects but overall, it seemed like trading one necessary evil for another one. I confided in the Lord that I know He is able to meet this need perfectly, and that if He didn't want us to take this other step that we would obey. After our devotions, Jason and I both agreed that God had given us His answer.
What amazes me is how God answered. We probably wouldn't have thought anything about the devotion had we not just watched the movie and made the comment about waiting. We wouldn't have watched the movie if the player hadn't been acting kooky. Coincidence? I don't think so. I think God needed to get His message across, and He chose to do so in this particular manner.
When things get frustrating (and you know they will), don't get angry. Instead, be still and listen. God may be trying to tell you something. He could be using the frustrating situation to gain your attention. Don't allow yourself to be so consumed that you miss out on His message. Pay attention to what's going on around you. Watch for repetitions or "coincidences." God loves to work on behalf of His children, and He has promised to lead and guide us. Sometimes, He even uses the evening movie!
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. - Psalm 46:10