"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24
These verses were on my mind as I walked to dinner today. Over the past few days, I've felt discouraged and confused about the situation with my condo. (For those of you reading this who do not know, I have to rent my condo out in order to serve with Mercy Ships. The rental process has been a roller coaster of getting my hopes up only to have something fall through...over and over again.) For the past few months, the condo has been my "fleece"--the final determining factor in whether or not God wants me to go. I expected it to have been rented at least a month ago. Now, here I am, less than two weeks away from boarding a plane to Africa, with no renter.
We've been talking a lot about contemplative prayer in our training. In other words, we are learning the importance of spending time silent before God, listening instead of doing all of the talking in our prayer time. I felt like I really needed to practice that today, so I grabbed my Bible and a towel after dinner and headed for the little pond behind our cabin. After several minutes doing the usual rambling in my own words, I finally prayed through Psalm 139:23-24 and asked God to still my thoughts and allow me to feel His presence.
I sat. I stared at the water. I lay down. I closed my eyes. I listened to the fish jump and the dragonflies buzz. I couldn't feel Him. I didn't hear Him. I asked, Where are You, God?
In frustration, I reached for my Bible and pulled the open-it-up-and-see-where-it-falls trick. I think it landed somewhere in the middle of an Old Testament war. I flipped...and flipped...until eventually my eyes fell on Psalm 139:23-24. Since that was the verse that had been on my mind before dinner, and had been my prayer, something in me felt like I needed to read the whole psalm from the beginning. When I got to verse seven, I understood why.
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me." Psalm 139:7-10
Though I may not feel Him, He is there. Though I do not realize it, He is guiding me with His hand.