Dan Webster taught me that there are things God does in the heart of a leader that only get done in quiet. I’ve learned the value of getting away to experience solitude and quiet. A few years ago, I went to Penuel Ridge with my friend, Sandra. I wrote this in my journal just after I arrived.
O Lord, I am back where your spring flowers called to my soul. Now the gentle sunshine in a crisp fall afternoon falls on my face, bringing warmth and light. While I’m here please:
- Pour into me
- Soak into my heart
- Seep into my being
- Penetrate my soul
- Drown my fears
- Illuminate my dark places
- Mark my path
Notice the phrase “drown my fears”? I was very deliberately choosing quiet time in order to deal with something I’d heard the Lord tell me 22 days earlier. Nancy, are you prepared to give up the YMCA, abandon hope of a successful career, a steady job, and reasonable comfort, to give yourself to My people and to My work for the rest of your life?
I was fearful and really struggling with this question. As a cold, crisp evening fell, Sandra and I lit a fire in the wood stove. We just talked – no distractions, just good, deep conversation. I shared with her the question. She paused and said, “That doesn’t sound like God. The words ‘abandon hope’ aren’t in His language.”
A pair of blinders was suddenly ripped off my eyes as I saw the truth in her words. Fear I had wrestled with for almost a month melted away as the Holy Spirit spoke to me through a dear, courageous friend. Now the question was: Nancy, are you prepared to give up the YMCA to give yourself to My people and to My work for the rest of your life? It was suddenly much easier to answer yes – and to trust in Jesus.
I learned a huge lesson when I withdrew, got quiet, and sought godly counsel. God speaks to us in love. I also learned that satan tries to derail our messages from God. He often uses a subtle change of words (remember Eve?) God spoke to me in love when I chose quiet.
What does God want to do in your heart that can only be done in quiet?