Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Smell the Color 9

Listen...do you smell something?

"I would take no for an answer, just to know I heard You speak..."

Lately I've been praying some pretty specific prayers about what God wants me doing with my life and how He wants me to go about it. As I wrote last week, I am ready to take some steps I can't take back. I'm praying to feel the leading of the Holy Spirit. And to be completely honest, I'm just not getting any answers- that I'm aware of. Now I spent enough years teaching and preaching about prayer to know that God answers all prayers. I am fully aware of the sermons that teach us that there are 4 answers we may get. I believe they all follow this basic format:
1) NO- Sometimes God just says no, and we have to get over it and trust that God knows best.
2) SLOW- Sometimes God wants us to be patient and to wait on whatever it is we are asking for.
3) GROW- Sometimes God has areas of of our spiritual life that He wants to see mature before giving us what we ask for.
4) GO-  Sometimes God simply says YES!
It is entirely possible that I am getting the SLOW or GROW answer from God and that I just don't want to hear it. But what it feels like to me is that God is backed up with prayer requests and that mine is not getting past the secretary. Anyone else ever feel that way?  

"Now I'm not looking for burning bushes or some divine graffiti to appear..."

I know better than to expect God to spell it all out for me. Jesus' disciples never had a clue what the plan was for them- why should I be any different? God likes to make us search, because there is much to be learned in the process. It's  just that sometimes in my life- like right now- I want answers. More specifically, I want God's answers. Sometimes I wish He was a CEO, so I could file a plan and He could accept it or reject it. Or maybe just send God a text to make sure I'm going the right direction. But that's not how it works. God wants me to discover what He has coming up next in my life, not file my plan with Him. And no matter how hard I search, I cannot find the home office. I know that Jesus is all the proof I should need that God loves me and will take care of me, but I struggle with wanting more. It's like Chris Rice wrote in his amazing song (all the quotes in this post are from itSmell the Color 9:

"Cause I can sniff, I can see, and I can
count up pretty high; but these faculties
aren't getting me any closer to the sky,
but my heart of faith keeps poundin' so
I know I'm doin' fine but sometimes findin'
You is just like tryin to smell the color nine."

You know what? I lied. I do want a burning bush. I want to know God's will in my life, and I want to know it now. I want a return text message from God giving my life direction. But I'm not going to get it. There is a great mystery to following God and putting our lives in Jesus' hands. It is in many ways a trip into the unknown, one of the scariest places there is for human beings. That's why we call it faith- the evidence of things unseen. We want control and we try desperately to hang on to it. But in fact, real prayer is about letting go of control and trusting God totally. So I'll keep praying, and trust that the answers will come. Until then, I'll just keep trying to smell the color 9...

"Nine's not a color, and even if it were you can't smell a color.
No, and that's my point exactly..."

Because of Jesus,


  1. I heard someone say once that God's answer isn't really "no." It's "I've got something better planned for you." It stuck with me & I remind myself of that every time I feel like I'm getting a "no."

    1. Great words of wisdom, Amy. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for reading,and thanks for your comment!