Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Putting Out A Fleece... And Getting A Clear Answer

Just call me Gideon. I have put out a 'fleece' before the Lord and He has answered! Do you know the story of Gideon?

Gideon was the least of the least, yet God told him to go fight the Midianites and rescue Israel!

"But God..."

"Yes Gideon, I know, but I will be with you and you'll be just fine. Now go do what I told you to do".

Just to be sure, Gideon asked God to prove to him that it really was God speaking to him, and God did just that.

Then when it came time to fight, and the enemy was closing in on them, Gideon called all the men to fight... but um, just to be suuuuuure, he asked God to prove Himself to him again.

"If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.”

And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.

Ok, so God had proved Himself to Gideon for the second time. But did Gideon trust that and go out and do what God had told him to do? Nope.

Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.”

So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.

It was only after he was absolute SURE that he was doing what God wanted him to do that Gideon acted. So that's what I decided to do. I decided to be like Gideon and 'put out a fleece'.

As most of you probably know, I've been working at the hospital taking the newborn baby's pictures for the past five months. This was my first job (outside the home) since before I had our oldest, who is now 11. I wasn't even really looking for a job when this one just fell into my lap back in February.

It's been fun and very rewarding, but lately Sweetie has been feeling very 'trapped' because of not being able to leave (he works from home) when he needed to because he had to stay home with the kids while I was at the hospital. He didn't ask me to quit, but I was feeling like I needed to be back home to take care of the kids and our home, not to mention Sweetie himself. So unbeknownst (is that really a word?) to anyone, I started praying for the Lord to show me beyond the shadow of a doubt whether I was to continue working or if I was to quit.

I'm not real good at figuring out FOR SURE if something is God or not, so like Gideon, I put out a fleece before the Lord and asked Him something very specific. I was honest and sincere in my prayer and I believed that He would show me what I was to do.

I asked him that if I was supposed to continue working that the next week (I worked 4 days that week) there would be lots of babies and my orders would be really good. If I was supposed to quit then there would be very few babies and my orders would be really low.

So how did that week go you ask? Well, Tuesday... there were no babies so I didn't even have to go in. Wednesday... there were three babies but one was in Level II and couldn't have pictures made and the other two mommies were just going to an hour-long discharge class as soon as I got there and were bringing their babies to the nursery (we take the pictures in the mom's room WITH mom there), so I clocked out and went back home. Thursday... I did have six babies that day, the three from the day before plus three more, but only three of the six ordered and they were small orders. And Saturday... guess what? No babies. THAT has never happened since I've been there. I've worked every Saturday since I started. And to only have six babies out of four days of working, I've never had a week like that.

Unlike Gideon, I didn't ask for the Lord to prove Himself again. I called my manager Saturday evening and gave my two week's notice.

And you know what? God loves us so much that He proved Himself to us again anyway, even though we didn't ask Him to! Since I gave my notice, Sweetie's business has ALREADY grown by leaps and bounds! Just exactly what we've been needing it to do for a long time! Now I have another job, and I'll probably be working more now than I was before! LOL! I am now Sweetie's bookkeeper, billing person, phone-answerer, note-taker, webmaster, banker, go-fer, and whatever else he needs me to do! The pay really stinks, but I have faith that it won't stay that way for long *wink wink*. Sweetie feels so much weight lifted off of him and is so excited about me being home again that's it's kinda cute! (I love that man!)

But guess what? God is so good! Not only has this been a blessing for us, but God has used this situation to also bless the other photographer (we each worked 3 days one week and 4 days the next week). Misty is the sweetest person and I am so blessed to have had the chance to get to know her. But between the two of us, she got the slower days as her days to work. Not intentionally, it just worked out that way. I was going to offer to switch days with her so she could have the busier days when I quit and whoever took my place would have the slower days. But to our surprise, they're not even going to hire anyone to take my place. Misty gets to do it all herself! She can work every other day if she likes, or she can go in more often. It's totally up to her! I am SO excited for her! I didn't know it, but she told me that she had decided that she was going to find a second job to do a couple nights a week because this job wasn't paying her very much. Now she doesn't have to. She LOVES being the baby photographer and I'm so tickled for her that she gets ALL the benefits herself now! I'm going to be her emergency back-up if there's ever a need, but I don't see that happening very often.

Following God's plan is sometimes hard, not to mention a bit scarey, but oh how sweet the peace is when it comes from knowing you're walking in His perfect will for your life! What a WONDERFUL, loving Father we have! I hope this encourages someone to step out on faith and trust that God hears you when you pray and He WILL answer you when you come before Him with a humble, honest, and sincere heart.

1 comment:

Marsha said...

I just love it when God shows even semi-blind ole me what I should do! And to bless your hubby's business AND Misty-- well, that is just all around wonderful!