In seeking the will of God, we give Him marvelous opportunities to reveal himself and provide direction in our daily lives.
My husband had been offered a job in Ames, Iowa. Our 14-year-old daughter had burst into tears at the mere words “. . . might need to move.” And our whole family loved lush green Washington State with its mountains, lakes and waterfalls. Iowa . . . well, where was that, exactly? In the corn fields, a thousand miles from family and friends, including my dear writing friends!
As we began to pray, I said, “I asked God if He’d give me signs that we should move, and some weird things happened.”
I told them how one incident occurred on a day trip, when our family randomly took a freeway exit to find a fast-food place after driving for one and a half hours. After taking the exit, we pulled up to a street and stopped: then saw it was Iowa Street.
Another day, I heard a voice yell from a radio through my open car window, “Illinois and Iowa!” My husband had connected the radio, garage light and door opener, so when I hit the garage door opener button in my car, the radio had turned on at the precise moment the announcer hollered out about Iowa.
Weird, but still circumstantial. Right?
My Washington-loving heart wanted to cast off these events as coincidences. So I asked my group if they’d pray for more outrageous “Iowa Signs”. I wanted hit-me-over-the-head kinds of signs, to help me feel more confident about finding God’s will for our family.
It wasn’t that I was testing God to make him prove his existence. It was more about my placing full faith in Him, agreeing in prayer with others that yes, he does creative and marvelous things. It was about knowing with confidence that God would reveal his will, excitedly looking forward to how he would do that, and being willing to accept His direction even if I didn’t like it. And on being grateful that in Jesus’ name we can even approach the throne of God for such small concerns.
Before the next week passed, three of my group members emailed me.
One, doing a newspaper crossword puzzle, had needed a four-letter word for a city in Iowa with a university. The answer? Ames.
Another said his pastor, during the Sunday sermon, mentioned a book about a Reverend Ames, in Iowa. (The novel, Gilead, which won a Pulitzer prize, was in the news that week. Ironically, the author had moved from Washington State to Ames.)
A third group member found an old family photo that week, flipped it over and found scribbled on the back: Our family in Ames, Iowa.
Ames, Ames, Ames! What were the odds that in the same week, half the people in my small group would be pointed not only to Iowa, but Ames, Iowa?
To get my attention further you would have had to smack me in the head with a brick. I shook my head in amazement. OK God, I get it. (To see how God continued to show his guidance and direction in AND after this move, stay tuned!)
Laurie Winslow Sargent (lauriewinslowsargent.com) is a contributor to and editor for Finding God Daily, a multi-book author, and writer for national magazines. She’d love to hear from you on Twitter via @LaurieSargent.
Enjoy this video on YouTube from the Skit Guys: What Is God’s Will? (Key point: God’s will for you will not contradict His Word.)
Note: sometimes following the desires of your heart is NOT God’s will for you, because He has something far better in store for you! In seeking and finding the will of God, your desires may change, and your eyes opened to a different and more exciting future.