God's Voice and Thimbles
I felt alone and without hope. My husband and I were on the precipice of one of those big, life altering decisions, and were struggling to find God’s voice and His will, and see his peace amidst waves of obstacles and seemingly random suffering. I was sitting on the couch, trying absentmindedly in vain to push a needle through fabric for a project that needed to get done, and had that feeling that I just needed to get out of the house. I needed to escape for a little while, and hopefully be able to take a full breath. In other words, find some peace.
I told my husband I was going to go and get a thimble, to be able to get the stupid needle through the stupid project I needed to finish last minute, and got in the car to drive to hobby lobby. No deeper breathing, no peace, no answers to my prayers except horrible thoughts from the enemy. “There is no peace for you.” “You should just give up.” “God doesn’t love you.” “You shouldn’t be in public right now, just pull over the car and cry in some parking lot.”
Despite the overwhelming urge, I didn’t pull over. I drove to Hobby Lobby and parked, and figured it was as good as a spot as any to sit in my car and cry. I took the keys out of the ignition and looked up.
Driving through the parking lot was a truck I recognized.
It was the woman I consider as my mentor, and the saint God blesses me with everyday. Through all of my health problems, she has prayed for me. Years and years of prayers, and those prayers coming in the mail the exact day I needed them. Encouragement and hugs and everything else a saint does for another that needs it. I saw that truck and thought “I am NOT going to talk to her.”
I also had another thought. Go ask her to pray for you. Before I really knew it, I was walking across the parking lot, right to that truck. We hugged, and I chickened out. We started small talk and I thought “Don’t ask her for prayer. She’s doing something. You’ll start crying. Your weight is too heavy and dark to share. Keep it to yourself.”
We walked in the doors of Hobby Lobby, and I knew I was being silly. Let her go finish her errand. We started walking farther into the store, ready to go our separate ways.
“Could you please pray for me?” I blurted, instead of “Good-bye.”
We went marching across the parking lot and I shared every single thing my soul had been struggling with, down to the darkest things the Enemy told me not to say out loud, right there in my car. We prayed and cried and prayed some more.
All of my “problems” were not fixed in that car because of those prayers. The things I was scared about and the weight that was on me were not erased in that car, or after when we met other times.
But I will tell you what did happen. The Enemy lost ground. More than he could afford. God shed light in places that desperately needed light. The Holy Spirit moved in ways I had never experienced, and equipped me more profoundly simply for asking in faith with the encouragement of my mentor. And, I got a thimble.
I have that thimble sitting on a bookshelf in my living room where I see it every day. I have realized after the day I went to get the thimble and God ended up taking back ground I had inadvertently given over to the Enemy, that the thimble is a bit of a case study in how the Enemy works. One of the reasons I love the book of Job is for the fact that you get to see The Story that is a part of our lives that we never are privy to: God on His throne, running things, and Satan’s plans and tactics out there for all to see. I felt like I got a glimpse of that part of the battle we are not privy to normally (only in retrospect), and noticed some important themes about the way God, and the Enemy speak:
Oftentimes, the Enemy’s voice shows up first and loudest. Ephesians 6:12
The Enemy is persistent. 1 Peter 5:8
The Enemy’s voice is destructive. John 10:10
God’s voice is Love. 1 John 4:7-10
God’s voice abounds out of His character: (goodness, peace, kindness, etc.)Psalm 116: 5 ;
God’s Way is perfect. Psalm 18:30