Friday, January 23, 2009

Hiding in fields.

I think there are a few things I'm supposed to be doing right now, one of which is writing more. I feel that 97secondswithGod, prodigaljon and stuffchristianslike, are what God wants me to focus on right now. But for a variety of reasons, all three of those sites only constitute a thin sliver of my week.

It's easy to get frustrated about that. To think, "Ugh, I have a call, I have an idea of the direction I'm supposed to be going, why am I not going at the speed I want to?" Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever thought, "I'm not were I'm supposed to be right now. I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I have more to give."

Maybe not, but that's where I'm at this morning. And while praying through that I felt like God reminded me that He's still in the business of hiding people in fields.

Which is a weird kind of reminder, but when I looked at the story of David in 1 Samuel it made sense. David didn't just receive a call or a suggestion or a "what if" from God, he was anointed King of Israel. In 1 Samuel 16:13, after he's anointed, it says, "from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. And then he went back to tend some sheep."

It doesn't say that last line but it should, because that's what happened. The rightful king of Israel returned to the field. Even when David becomes a member of Saul's court, it says in 1 Samuel 17:15 "but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father's sheep in Bethlehem."

It's easy to look at our lives and think, "Why am I working here God? Why am I a part of this church or this ministry or this whatever? I should be doing great things for you! I should be starting a new, all consuming adventure with you. Right this second!"

But I think that sometimes, out of His infinite love and wisdom, God chooses to hide us in fields. Why? I don't know. Maybe he wants us to wrestle more bears before we face Goliath. Maybe He's got a really important message He wants to whisper to us and it can only be heard in the loneliness of a field. Maybe Job 23:9-10 answers this question better than I ever could:

"When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold."

Maybe God has you in a field because He wants to introduce you to the world as gold.

I don't know, but I rest in the fact that I serve a God that does. I rest in the fact that I serve a God that knows exactly where I am and has a purpose for that unique spot, whether it's a field or a kingdom, a mission field or a corporate meeting.

30 comments:

Ed said...

Great post Jon.

We also need to have faith that He can hide us in a field. Fields are wide open spaces and at first glance would seem to be not a very good place to hide.

I need Him to hide me sometimes, and instead of hiding me in a cave or a forest or an underground super secret impenetrable fortress, He chooses to hide me in a field.

I may feel exposed, but I realize that in hiding me in a field He is asking me to have trust in Him to keep me safe and hiden. My faith grows in knowing He could hide me anywhere and I would be safe.

Psalms 27:5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Erik said...

This makes so totally sense. Best description I've ever heard on this subject. Hit me right in the gut because right now I feel somewhat lost in the field God has put me in.

God bless 'ya, man.

jbranch said...

Jon - I know what you mean. I am on the verge of starting a public Christian blog after posting Christian messages on my private family blog. I enjoy your writing.

Jake said...

This one hit the spot.

Do you follow a certain daily reading schedule? I think I might enjoy following along with you then reading this site each morning afterwards. Would make for a wonderful devotional.

justlurkingthanks said...

Could it be our urge to do something "big" or "more" instead of what is right in front of us is, in itself, the issue?

If our paths are truly "ordered of the Lord" then maybe washing dishes, or changing a diaper, or going to the 9-5, or taking out the trash, or talking to your neighbor, or any of the other things that make up an ordinary life aren't hiding in a field so much as exactly where God wants you to be at this time and in this place. Perhaps what is right in front of us is our calling.

God forgive me for wasting most of my life waiting for you to drop the big idea into my head - struggling to find time for my "calling" - and missing out on the opportunities to be your hands and feet in the mundane things of life right now.

Prodigal Jon said...

justlurkingthanks
God forgive me for wasting most of my life waiting for you to drop the big idea into my head - struggling to find time for my "calling" - and missing out on the opportunities to be your hands and feet in the mundane things of life right now.

That is fantastic. I actually spoke on that very same idea before. I thought doing something for God meant "far off places and far off people" and I was missing the people and places right in front of me.
Great comment
Jon

Jon

LeLe said...

Jon, this is fantastic.

"I'm not were I'm supposed to be right now. I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I have more to give." I struggle with this constantly but I think justlurkingthanks really hit the nail on the head. We need to serve God where we are right now unless we sense Him calling us elsewhere. As Henry Blackaby says in "Experiencing God," we need to find out where God is working and insert ourselves there. I think as humans, we have a basic instinct that tells us that we need to be more than we are. I struggle so much with my flesh...

Julianna said...

Great post!

Thank you for sharing the insight that the Lord gave you on this subject. I often feel like I can't see where 'the place' is, but I have a general idea of where I'm going. Having the contentment that Paul talks about is very hard for me. I am working on opening my eyes to what is around me and seeing what I can do for God where I am.

Thank you, again, for the reminder!

Whitney said...

Mmmm, this is a great post. Really hit home with me. I am an executive assistant Mon-Fri, and a worship leader the rest of my time. I so often get frustrated with my job when I know that there's so much more I could be doing in music ministry. I guess maybe God just has me in a field right now. Thanks for the post.

jenn said...

Another great one. Thanks. Maybe you need a 97 Seconds With God book too. I find myself bookmarking so many of these to read again later.

Augustino said...

Hi PJ - Although a rare frost just scorched my field, it's still brimming with the beauty of God's handiwork. Your inspiring posts remain among the hardiest of wildflowers enduring with me in my field. Thanks!

Joyce said...

hi jon,
i've been reading your post on SCL and have enjoyed it very much. this is my first time commenting but i just wanted to say thank you for this post. it has been something i have been thinking about and struggling with. it was very encouraging. Great job! :)

lenamarie said...

Awesome post Jon. I totally have the same thoughts and it's good to remember that I am where I am "for such a time as this". What can I do with what God has given me NOW? How can I glorify Him in my life NOW? Thanks for the reminder.

Hope said...

Thank you!

kg said...

Had to say thank you. That hit the spot. The rest has been said!

Sarah Lewie said...

Like usual, this one hit just a little too close to home. I am always belaboring the fact that I feel like there's something MORE that I should be doing, but haven't yet done it, or I should be somewhere that I'm not yet.

Thanks.

Ritu said...

Amazing! This is what I have been wondering about my own life. Many a times questioned God, "What am I doing?" But the assurance is His love for me and it is a relief to know that He is the FATHER and I am His precious child. Thanks for the wonderful post. He is aware what is happending in my life and where he is taking me. I just need to trust Him. Can I do that?

Soulful said...

Jon, I love your post today. It is so timely and insightfula nd helpful for me. I awoke yesterday after a dream while repeating in my head "the refiner's fire, the refiner's fire, the refiner's fire." I have been going round and round working it through. Your annointed words are like a fresh drink of water.

Brin said...

This hit me between the eyes. I needed this... right now. God, you know? His timing is always perfect.

And hey, I wanted to say that your calling to keep blogging is no small potato. As a fellow Christian blogger, I read my comments and emails but still have a hard time seeing my blog as a ministry. I mean, we don't KNOW these people writing in, so how can we really be making an impact in their lives, right? It's not like we meet them for coffee and dazzle them with how cool we are in person. But, well, we are ministering to folks. And you ARE. I know because today God used your words to speak straight to my heart...

So carry on. Guess that's what I wanted to say. Field or not, you're being used. :)

Billy Coffey said...

Happened upon this blog through a friend who said I could really use this post. And you know, she was right.

Thanks for this...

Kim said...

I really enjoyed this post. Please keep posting here. Your thoughts and insights are greatly appreciated.

Jen from KY said...

Thank you so much - I know I'm where I'm supposed to be - but it's like my flight keeps getting delayed as all those around me are flying out to better & bigger things. I'll still be delayed for awhile I have a feeling - but this reminder has helped (me not to be so crabby about it).

Anonymous said...

How ’bout picking ONE day next week and write something FUNNY and light…

Life is getting to all of us… and I think we need a LITE-day…

Kendra said...

David-shmavid, what about Joseph? I relate to these guys more than I would like. And whenever I go to God's Word to find the happy ending I think I need I keep slamming into people like John the Baptist.

Even so, to quote a 7-year-old little girl who just received Christ last week in our ministry, when asked if she really understood what accepting Christ meant, "Well, if I could either have anything in the whole world or God, I choose God."

Field or no field, I choose God.

chriscrossing said...

Love God and love others as yourself. The greatest commandment. And you know what's one of the greatest things about it? You can do it ANYWHERE!!! Even while hiding in a field.

Anyhow, that's what God spoke into my heart a few years ago after years of whining to Him asking why I was in the job I was in - what I was really supposed to be doing for Him. This couldn't be it, this secular programming job.

And I've embraced that Blackaby quote LeLe mentions (it was such an aha moment when I read it - it was my big takeaway from the book). But I'm also careful to wait on God before I jump into a ministry, because I don't want to be in the wrong place and not be available where He needs me, or stretched too thin and unable to spend time with Him.

PB said...

For some reason, this blog reminded me of Deuteronomy 20:1-8.

Notice that God says when preparing for battle, evaluate the men and let these guys sit this battle out: those who have built a new house and not dedicated it, those who have planted a vineyard but not begun to enjoy it, those who have been pledged to a woman but not yet married her, even the fainthearted should sit the battle out.

First, I see that God is in control and wants us to trust in that. We can rest in the knowledge that He is calling the right people at the right time for the right work - and He's leading the charge. It's His power and strength that will get the work done - not the numbers of men or even our abilities.

David trusted in that. Rather than be anointed King and running to the throne, he sat back and took care of the family and work that God had given him at that time.

Like David, God has given us families, homes, jobs and neighbors to tend to and love and nurture. And from this passage in Deuteronomy, I see that He is compassionate about what's going on in our lives and doesn’t want us to abandon those things for what we believe is His work.

I did make a note in the margin of my bible that pride might keep us from accepting that compassion - we may feel like we've been called and need to focus everything on that calling. But, like David, we need to continue to take care of our families, our homestead, and our work while allowing God to prepare us and wait for His perfect timing.

Dianna said...

So I resigned from teaching about a year ago knowing that is was God's will, but not knowing where I was going. I woke this morning and cried for what seems like the 100th time over not being where I feel where God intends me to be. In that I mean finding a job, that serves him and finding a husband. No matter how much I've prayed lately I feel that I've been called, but not on duty lately?? I think reading your post helped me realize that just because I am hiding in the fields doesn't mean I'm not on duty...it may mean the opposite. It's those times when we hear God the most waiting for him. Most of all it's ok to be where I am, because there is a purpose in it all.

joshua conti said...

this was a great encouragement. thanks!

Josh said...

I love it how the bible is so alive and active that a simple verse like 1 Samuel 17:15 ("but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father's sheep in Bethlehem.")
can show something so incredible that we tend to miss or forget.

heartafire said...

HOWEVER, I think the devil also whispers these things to us:
"You shouldn't be doing this....Don't you want to be doing something more special for the kingdom? Why should you be home doing laundry, cleaning the house and cooking? Shouldn't you use your nursing degree in Africa? Your musical gifts to help the hurting?" etc.

Oh my goodness....just read some of the posts. justlurking said the same thing. It's really true.
I don't think we can claim to know what God is thinking---"Your ways are not my ways"--"Where were you when I was forming the earth, " etc.
He does not have to make everything known to us, and I think we need to be extra careful in claiming to hear God's voice, when it's really something WE want. [not saying you're doing that, Jon---I think you have a lot of confirmation from lots of fellow believers that you are on a true path] I think he also reveals lots to us through scripture (as you beautifully point out) and through prayer.

All I'm saying is...I think we need to take a powder on "name it and claim it" theology. It is really just pride that makes us want to be "co-pilots" with Christ. We're not his little helpers---He doesn't need us.
And maybe, in His perfect wisdom, He is doing work in us that will not be revealed until we come into His kingdom. Maybe we will never be "introduced as gold" in this earthly setting, but only for His glory in the next. Will that be OK too?