What will it take for God to get my attention? Does God have to do something drastic like opening the mouth of a donkey so it can speak and tell me I am disobeying God? I love the story of Balaam! I would like to share with you some of the thoughts I had as reading this wonderful account in the Bible over the last few days.
First, it amazes me how God spoke - out loud - to Balaam and told him not to curse God's people but he still decided to go and do it. I think, how could he be so dumb to ignore God! I would never ignore God if He spoke directly to me! But wait - God has spoken to us in writing where we can read it over and over again to be sure we don't forget it and we still disobey!
The next part of the account that amazes me is how God opens the mouth of the donkey and she speaks to Balaam and he doesn't fall over having a heart attack! I think I would have run away screaming! I mean imagine being in your house and all of a sudden your cat or your dog TALKS to you and tells you there is an angel waiting to kill you if you..... fill in the blank of whatever sin. But Balaam just acts like it is an everyday event to have the donkey TALK to him! As I read this I thought about it from Balaam's view point. He didn't know there was an angel standing there with a sword ready to kill him so he was getting angry that the donkey wasn't obeying, that things weren't going the way he wanted. I'm sure he was upset about the delay in getting to his destination.
How many times do things not go the way we planned? How often are plans changed, decisions are made out of our control, maybe someone or something blocks us from doing what we wanted? How often are those detours God intervening in our lives? Maybe it is for our safety and protection, like Balaam's, or maybe it is to cross our path with someone God needs us to witness to or encourage? I am thinking about a few weeks ago. I had my plan of events mapped out where I was going to go on my way to Dillon's doctor. Then my husband called and said he needed me to take him to get his motorcycle from the shop. I was annoyed because it meant I had to change all my plans for where I was going, when I was leaving, etc. But it had to be done so we did. Then other events happened and my plans were altered again. Finally, I decided we would run to McDonald's, then go to a different store, then get on the highway at a different place than planned. We planned to go into McDonald's and I saw I forgot my credit card so I was all upset that I didn't have that and wondering where I left it at home. Thankfully I had cash to use. I went into McDonald's more than a little stressed and just wanting to get to CHOP quickly. While in McDonald's I saw the lady behind me in line point to the sign "TTM" (Talk to Me). The people at McD said "Oh, she's mute get her a pen and paper." I turned to her and in my very broken sign language asked if she was deaf. She said yes and I told her I am learning sign and might be able to help her. I was able to understand what she was saying (she must have been hard of hearing not totally deaf). I told her where I go to church and that I am learning sign there. I was so nervous I think I forgot all my signs and mixed everything up! But I was able to go back to the van and get her Dillon's story for her and her friend.
I have been praying to meet someone deaf and invite them to church for over a year! And I finally got to do so! BUT what if I would have dug my feet in and refused to change plans that day? What if I would have had such a bad attitude about my plans changing, would I have missed my opportunity? Do you think God was in charge of my day and allowed me to meet that lady to grow my faith (knowing He answered my prayer), to encourage me (know I can try to talk to the deaf now, even if it isn't perfect), and to be an encouragement to her and invite her to church where she knows we have a love for the deaf people? I do! I think God was in control of every little roadblock that day!
I have more from the life of Balaam I want to share, but I will share more later. I hope this is an encouragement to you to remember next time something goes wrong that maybe God is working in our life in a way we can't see just yet. Have faith! Look to God for what he wants to show us and wants us to do when something goes wrong instead of getting angry and acting in selfishness.