I play scrabble on the computer, and every once in a while it will ask if I want to “nudge” someone into making a move. I started thinking about the word “nudge” and I meandered through my fertile mind until I rested in the valley beside still waters. There, I started thinking about how God nudges us. More to the point, how he nudges me. I often grow weary of listening to God or for God. Maybe weary is not the right word to use. I grow leery is perhaps more apropos. What I mean by that is I don’t know if it is God directing my path or my foolish ways directing my path. How do I know the difference between a God “nudge” and a Betty “nudge”?
I was sitting in Bible study the other day listening to a lady speak very passionately about how God is the God of miracles if you “own” His word and know His word is written for you and with you in mind and that God can do ALL things. As I was listening to her, my knees began to ache from sitting in one position - they ache from ANYTHING. So, I silently told God that if he was a God of miracles to heal my knees right there and then. My knees kept right on aching. Was it something I said? Was it something I didn’t say? Was it my lack of faith? I don’t know. All I know is that God did not perform any miracle on my knees - not then and not now.
Am I angry at God? Sometimes. Sometimes I ask Him why he doesn’t cure my ails so that I can do more for His kingdom. I whine. I cry out. It doesn’t matter. My knees still hurt really bad, I still can’t sleep at night, and I still have to take blood thinners to prevent another stroke. Because of the stroke, I still don’t recognize people who should be familiar to me and find myself hiding from people I know I should know, but I don’t know. It is exhausting being in pain all the time, and I wonder why God would want me like that. I mean, I have so much to do for Him!
Maybe that is it. I do have so much to do for God’s kingdom. But, God doesn’t call the equipped does he? He equips the called. I have no doubt that I am called. I got the nudge, and I know it was from God. I know because it was right and just and required me to surrender completely and step out in faith. Perhaps for the first time in my life, I was able to do that. I didn’t look back. I didn’t second-guess the call. I didn’t say, “Wait until my health is better.” “Wait until I have no kids at home.” Wait until the mortgage is paid off.” I just did it. I just walked into my principal’s office and resigned from my job. I walked away from a $50,000 a year paycheck with benefits to a $0 a year paycheck with no health benefits. Why? I did it because it was finally time for me to listen to God and, more importantly, to trust Him completely.
So, I allowed God to nudge me from a 2400 sq. ft. home into a 15’ x 32’ RV. I allowed him to nudge me from a $50,000 a year job to a part-time volunteer position. I went from being able to pay all my bills to scraping two pennies together hoping they’ll make more pennies (it hasn’t happened yet). What has happened though is that I have found that all my needs and my family’s needs have still been met. We’re not starving. We’re not out on the street. We have all the comforts of home - albeit on a much smaller scale.
I learned a lot from this nudge. I learned that I am equipped as much as I need to be to do what I’ve been called to do at this moment. I learned that I can trust God to provide my daily bread and my daily energy. I’m learning to let Him lead me when I cannot see where the path of my life is taking me. I’m learning to listen to Him by recognizing His voice in my everyday life.
I’ve recognized God’s nudge through the smiles of my special needs students. I know it’s Him nudging me when my 800-pound horse rests his huge head gently on my shoulder. I know it’s God’s nudge when my granddaughter gives me Eskimo kisses. I know it’s Him in my husband's hugs and my daughter’s dancing. He nudges me every day to look at my life through a different prism and to be thankful because I know that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. I may not have painless knees, but I have knees that allow me to do just what I need to do. I believe that God would not want me to be healed completely because then my life would not be a testament to what people can accomplish despite their limitations. I know that He will always deliver on His promises as long as I allow Him to nudge me from time to time.