Do you ever hear that still, small voice of God quietly whispering in your ear?
I think I did yesterday… and yesterday, like so often, it was a quiet little voice yet it was so loud I couldn’t miss it!
It all started with Amanda Sanders. Amanda wrote a little blog post in which she thanked me for being ‘upbeat’ and a ‘big picture kind of guy’. Check out the post here.
I read that and immediately started writing a rebuttal post in my head. I’m not upbeat, I battle depression daily, I think of myself as a total failure. I’m supposed to be a pastor but I rarely lead because I’m paralysed by my own fear of failure and total lack of self belief and self worth. Really, I’m not saying this to get sympathetic comments, it’s really how I feel and it is the debilitating disease I struggle with every day.
Before I could sit down and write that post though, I got a random comment from a pastor I very much respect telling me that he reads my blog (which I didn’t know) and likes it (which I was surprised at). It totally caught me off guard and I was left thinking, “Really? Are you sure you commented on the right blog?”
It actually threw me for a moment. He likes my blog? Huh? It only threw me for a moment though because then Michael Hyatt retweeted an old post about creating a life plan (if you haven’t read it, I totally recommend you read it and act on what you read). A life plan? Like a plan for my life? You mean the dreams I dream could become more than just dreams, with a little planning?
Moments later, Jason S. posted a fantastic post in which he said,
“As much as we may hate to admit it, we aren’t able to see the big picture either for our lives and the plans God has for us, but our Father does (and that will have to be enough).
Throw on top of that a post from Bridget Chumbley about Passion and you’ve got a whole array of different messages all being joined together by that still, small, extremely loud voice of God telling me, “Sometimes you need to step back and look at the big picture, or at least at a bigger picture.”
I am guilty of looking too small, of being introspective, of navel gazing and it’s depressing. Sitting here, at my laptop, I don’t really see much happening. I don’t see myself having any effect on the world. As far as I’m concerned, If I had died a year ago, nothing in this world or the next would be different, except maybe my wife and kids would be a little sad.
I think that yesterday God allowed me to face my own feelings and shortcomings and then he hit me with messages designed to drag my eyes away from my belly button and out into the world.
You see, I AM important because I am a part of God’s great big plan. In the same way, you are important too, whoever you are. Seriously, it doesn’t matter who is reading this, you are important to God and he has given you a role in his plan.
I’d love to create a life plan. More importantly though, I’d love to be able to stick to my life plan. I’m great at making plans but terrible at sticking with them. I’d love to start looking at the big picture and acting on what I see. I’d love to feel like I was moving forward, even though I may just have to admit I can’t see the whole picture and have to trust God. That’s better than not moving at all.
I don’t know where God is leading me with all this but I hope and pray that I have the strength and courage to follow!
Do you feel that God is trying to lift up your head? Do you feel that he wants you to live like you’re a child of the King of Kings not a nobody? Or is it just me?
46 Reply to “Ever think God is trying to tell you something?”
This is the best post ever! Isn’t it wonderful how God provides exactly what we need? : )
Thanks, Amanda. God is good, ALL THE TIME!
Peter, this is one of my favorite posts of yours! I love hearing stories of how God talks to people.
And I know you said you didn’t do this for sympathetic comments. And I believe you. But you’re getting a warm fuzzy from me anyway: You are talented and warm-hearted. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting you face to face, but I still know that about you. I’m glad God reminded you to live like a child of the King. We all need to be reminded of that don’t we?
My experience is that we all need reminding of exactly who we are a little more often than we should!
Thank you for your warm and fuzzy comments, I much appreciate them!
Isn’t it astounding that we can ignore 100 positive, encouraging comments or thoughts only to focus in on the negative? Why do we do that? And no one is immune from it. I read Stuff Christians Like and Without Wax. Pete and Jon get hundreds of positive comments, but one negative one seems devastating. Which is why it’s so important that we are careful with our words. I kid around a bunch, I know – but I hope you know that I consider you a friend and will be praying for you. You have a heart of gold, Peter. Mean that. Hang in there.
Look at you getting all deep on a Wednesday morning!
Seriously, thanks Katdish! I’ve never been compared to Pete and Jon before, I won’t tell them if you don’t!
Words are so very powerful, both written and verbal and you’re right, we do need to be careful with them. We can do so much good with them and so much bad too!
Peter, I pray right now that God will give you a deeper and greater excitement and joy about the plans He has for you and your life.
It sounds like this is happening, but it gets hard and we don’t see clearly. I don’t want to give you sympathy, but I do want to offer compassion. When Jesus had compassion, people’s lives changed. I have been and will continue to pray for you and you can let me know anytime what or how I should pray.
Gideon didn’t think he was much either, but obedience works great miracles. Blessings to you mighty man of valor! 🙂
Have you ever seen the VeggieTales version of Gideon?
I love the part where the angel calls Gideon a ‘mighty man of valor’ and Gideon essentially says “You must be looking for someone else, I just play the tuba!”
I think I know how Gideon felt when people say that stuff to me. I’m just a little guy trying desperately to keep his head above water. I’m constantly astounded by other people and their faith walk and understanding… and then people say that kind of stuff and I’m always sure they must be talking to someone else!
Peter when I read your comment this morning on my ‘Passion’ post I was going to reply but this works even better. (btw thanks for the link)
You may not feel passionate right now but the way you reach out to others and remind us how to ‘be the church’ and not just ‘go to church’ is awesome! I’ve enjoyed and continue to look forward to knowing you better and seeing what God has in store.
I can relate to what you shared on many levels and will be praying for you…though it sounds like God is already working on it 🙂
I subscribed to you some while ago and it’s about time I told you how uplifting and encouraging you are! Especially this post. I feel exactly like you do! So, thank you so much for being so open and sharing your feelings! May God bless you with a new and growing sense of your worth as His beloved child.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I really appreciate it!
I hope and pray that God helps you to see your full value and impact in His kingdom!
Very good post Peter and I could feel you words coming through with truth and sincerity. Sometimes it hurts to be so open and honest but I think we need more of that with one another. Just keep up the good fight, YOU do make a difference and you do have a gift. God is using you for good and Satan is whispering in your ear that he isn’t.
I read a lot of blogs each day besides writing one myself and while most of them are a great source of encouragement to me, I don’t always comment. You know those old time restraints, hurry, hurry, hurry.
Hang it there!
I know exactly what you mean about not having time to comment – and I feel so guilty when I don’t 🙂
Thank you for your encouragement. God bless. Peter
Peter, I’m right there with you in the battle. In my most recent bout, I came across a little book by John Piper: when the darkness will not end (or something like that) It really encouraged me & addressed a lot of the topics you mentioned. I’ll be praying for you.
I’ve not read that book, Piper is a great writer though, I’ll have to try to get my hands on it. Thanks!
Depression is so weird. In my head I know all the truths but actually applying them feels impossible – and people who have never suffered from it just cannot understand that!
I appreciate you, Steph!
Came over from Michael Hyatt’s tweet…this is great stuff. I needed it today. Kudos
All Things Heart and Home
I’m glad you stopped by, Robin.
I hope and pray that God will meet you where you are and lead you to where he wants you to be! He is faithful and I know he will!
Peter- I love how when we’re transparent, God uses it to (a) heal us and (b) “prime the pump” so that others feel that they can be transparent, too, thus bringing about their healing as well.
Back at Easter, I had an aunt to almost shoot herself. When I shared my aunt’s story (as a prayer request) with the women’s Bible study group at our church, all of a sudden, women began to weep and pour out their hearts about their depression and times they had thought about suicide… And here I thought I was the only one…
Thank you for being so transparent… You never know who is hearing your story and finding hope there.
Thanks for stopping by. Your comment is exactly what tomorrow’s post is going to be about. The effects of being open and honest are incredible!
Loved this, Peter. You really outdid yourself this time. This was very encouraging – I thought I was the only one who felt this way. OK, not really, but sort of. This post was a real gift to me, and for that I thank you. Don’t stop!!
Thanks, Candy. You’re welcome but thank God for giving it to me to write!
I was turned on to this post because i follow Michael Hyatt on Twitter. You have encapsulated 20+ years of my life and 13+ years of ministry in one blog post! I feel like I should print this off and give it to every peer, family member, boss, former student in my youth groups, former fellow church staff members and my current bff’s to try to explain what I see as my thoughts, behaivor and struggle!!! But, sadly, that’d be like picking up a greeting card for my wife ,”expressing” my love for her with what someone else wrote. LOL- but its not funny because when i read this post, its like you wrote it about me…maybe I’ll only make a few copies and start with my inner circle
thank you for saying what i feel too.
Word of Life Area Missionary
I am so glad you found my blog today! I write hoping and praying that God will speak to people through me and I’m very glad he’s talking to you!
It’s hard sometimes to express yourself to the people closest to you. If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know!
Peter, thank you so much for your transparency. I struggle every day with the same things you struggle with, but I am so afraid to say anything because most people simply do not understand. I am In Christ and I need to start acting like it! Thanks again. Bill
You’re welcome, Bill. Thank you for stopping by my blog today.
If I can do anything to help you, just let me know!
God bless, Peter.
Thanks! I am in a very tough and sad time today. I need all the help I can get. Your post was truthful and very encouraging. Let’s all pray for all of us who are suffering.
You’re welcome, Lorraine. Thank you for stopping by.
I am praying for you.
Oh, Peter! [ This is NOT a sympathetic comment! ]
You ARE a pastor. You ARE leading. By simply being YOU.
May God bless you, dear one!
Somehow I read the words “Oh, Peter” and just knew it wasn’t being written in a sympathetic tone!
Thanks, Bonnie. I appreciate you!
Right now , i think that God is trying to tell me that i was meant to be with this guy but idk , it is really complicated and i think if i told him , he would think i was crazy .
Good stuff bro. I did a post like this, with some inside thoughts, and my buddy Ellis called me. Dropped what he was doing to encouage me as a father, a friend and a pastor.
I speak encouragement to you too my brother.
Wow. Needed to read this today. You know, the most encouraging posts to me are the posts written from the real places by the real people who have real struggles and still keep going because God is drawing them on, even if they can't see His whole plan. THIS is when I feel I am not alone. Thanks.
I'm glad I re-posted it today.
You're not alone!
actually, i understand anxiety and depression. God has let me go there to understand, and i am now taking meds to help with it.
this is the second post today of someone actually talking about this.
the first post was by kathleen overby at her blog called "almost paradisical" called "front porch smile" . http://koverb.blogspot.com/2009/11/front-porch-sm…
i think that "not seeing the whole picture and trusting God" is the plan.
i love you
thanks for writing about this.
Isn't it cool how God does that kind of thing? I didn't realize that Kathleen was talking about this today when I reposted it!
Just listening. Quietly. (Seems like the thing to do, in the face of such profound honesty.)
Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for stopping by.
Thanks for your awesome comment. It's much appreciated.
I love this post, Peter! I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner. I needed to hear this today, and probably will have to come back and read it again and again. Thank you for this!
I'm glad I reposted this today then. I try to repost one 'popular' post a day and just rely on God to tell me which one to repost!
I just read this in the new year, and it was just what I needed after a stressful, discouraging work week. I have managed to bring that mental baggage home with me and have just been praying that God will help me "wait quietly on the Lord" and be able to enjoy my needed down time. You've reminded me to trust His plan for how things are supposed to work out. You've also encouraged me by reminding me that this nutty work I do makes a difference as my Father works through me. Thanks so much for the encouragement!