Hebrews 12:1-2
"...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith..."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Clear as Deer

Many, many years ago I was attending a great women's study in Ames called Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).  Jenna was still young so I was quite happy that BSF provided classes for children where they would learn right along with their mommas.  Yes, 2-5 yr. olds were learning about the 12 tribes of Israel, the tabernacle, God's grace, etc.  Impressive and exciting! 

The teaching leader at that time, Jane Randall, (who is even yet today still in that position!) called me one day.  She asked if she could visit me to talk about a teaching opportunity for the next fall.  A few days later, she came to my home and shared that she had been praying and felt that God had given her my name to teach in the children's program.  We finished our visit and she ended it in prayer asking that God would clearly show me His will.  I was to call her back by the end of the week with my answer.

I have to be honest that after she left I thought, "Ah, not for me."  BUT I was willing to pray about it....and I did.  Over the next few days, I still didn't know what I should do (and I really didn't want to teach) so I began to plan my return phone call to Jane with my answer being "no".  I was kind of nervous about making the call since she was so certain God was giving her my name.  I was trying to make sure that I had all the right words to say....you know, so I could tell her that God didn't tell ME what He supposedly told her.  As I rehearsed my answer to Jane, something in me wasn't feeling right SO I came up with one last "plan" before I told her "no".  Each afternoon I had to drive about 3 miles to the bus stop to pick up my son, Devin, after school.  I decided that I would pray a specific prayer:

"God, I don't know what to do. 
If you really want me to teach
in the children's program,
will you please show me a deer TODAY
either on the way to the bus stop
 or on the way back home."

I figured that my "not for me" response would pretty much be affirmed with God's answer when I didn't see any deer on my trip.  I mean, no one sees deer at that time of day, at that time of year  AND I would feel a lot better giving my "no" answer with "God's confirmation".

I climbed in the car with Jenna and began the 3 mile drive, all the while scanning the sides of the road and fields for deer.  As we got to the bus stop I thought, "Well God, you have 3 more miles back home to show me the deer...or not."  No deer = no teaching. 

On the drive back home, I continued looking for deer.  As we approached a road one mile from ours something inside me said, "TURN".  I had no clue "why" I should turn on that road.  I had never driven on that road but I knew it wasn't out of our way.  It would take us no further to get home and it was so clear that I heard "TURN"...so I did.  I slowed down and made the turn.  It threw my kids into a frenzy wondering why we were taking a different route.  I told them that I didn't know why, but that God wanted me to turn on this road to go home.

Driving down the road, we came to a small hill.  As we came over the top of the hill, a house came into view.  In front of the house as yard ornaments were NOT ONE, NOT TWO, BUT THREE PLASTIC DEER!!!  I began laughing SO hard!!  My kids kept asking me what was so funny and I kept saying, "The deer!  The deer!"

God certainly has a sense of humor!  I called Jane up the next day but rather than giving her the answer I had rehearsed, I could only say, "Yes, absolutely, I will teach!"

I began teaching that next fall and I LOVED it!  I was humbled to think that God desired to use me to do his will, that he was gracious enough to answer my doubting prayer, and make it as "clear as deer". 

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