mid-life: determining the will of God … more maturely ?

I would like to hope I can determine the will of God with some differences from 20 years ago. There is a life lesson that is influencing my thinking right now, and I want to explain it.

I’ve let my kids ask over and over for things they want. For a few reasons. One, it’s human tendency to give a negative answer first. So I let them keep asking because maybe I ought to change my mind. (When I’ve had a chance to think it over, and the answer is sure, I might say, “Please stop asking” or something like that, so they know asking is futile.) Second, God encourages us to ask repeatedly. He listens to it. So I am trying to allow that quality in my life, too.

So, kids and asking. It’s a thing. You know how we say “no,” and our kids ask “why?” … “why?” … “why?” even though I’ve explained why …

Vitaliy said the most striking thing one time. He said: You know, they are not asking Why because they want to understand your will. they are asking Why in order to change your will.

I thought about that a lot. And I started thinking, so why am I saying No? What is my “will” for my child that would cause me to say No? And sometimes I would explain this to my child, like, “I’m saying No because my will for you is that ….”

This was years ago, and at that time, I began thinking about when I ask Why? of God in order to change His will for me. And I began to think: what if I stopped trying to change God’s will for me, and rather began trying to understand why this is His will for me?

It opens up a huge world of thought, exploration, and lessons. If something really IS God’s will for me, then that is huge. Because God is very purposeful in having a will towards me. Every detail is by design. If I open myself up to accepting, agreeing with, and exploring why for the purpose of understanding God’s purpose, then the possibilities of growth and riches are pretty limitless.

OK, so yesterday–The Guidance of God chapter.

2. Ask God to empty your heart of any desire of your own. Otherwise, it is impossible to sincerely ask God what His will is, and impossible to correctly interpret His providences.

3. Again, don’t skip point two. This is essential. Ask God to empty our hearts of all personal preferences.

And I wrote:

I’m in points 2-3 right now, in a particular process I’m trying to decide. I feel preference-less, but not fully because I’m scared of the feeling of not having a preference, so I’m pausing here to accept it and adjust to that before I move on.

The author of this book frames it as doing your known duties first. So the way my thoughts turned yesterday: I began thinking about all the known duties I have and that I ought to examine how I am doing on those–think this through first before I add another activity to the mix.

And I am thinking about my Why– exploring trying to understand more fully why God gave me these particular duties in life so clearly, like fundraising and home schooling. And how I can mine them more for God’s purposes. To accept more fully the blessings and transformations He wants to bring about through these.

So, I’m feeling less preference and feeling more comfortable in that place right now.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing. My husband and I have been talking about this recently. It is obvious that God led us to St. Louis last year, but he is struggling to find work and a meaningful place in the community. He’s wrestled a lot in earlier seasons of life to have clear direction, but this season feels particularly difficult. I do not struggle in the same way and I often do not know how to encourage him, but this was helpful.

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