Written by Rachel Snyder
I faced a particularly stressful personal situation this week. I was in tears more than once, frustrated that peace would not come and soothe my heart. I prayed and prayed for peace! You know, that peace that passes understanding? Like a dove or whatever, ascending on my heart and covering it with some, like, sparkly rainbow Holy Spirit salve?
I have a vivid imagination.
As I cried, I consulted godly friends who produced godly wisdom. This wisdom was steeped in love and helped calm me, helped reassure me, and helped me assess my options. I took those options to God and, once again, asked for peace.
Instead of sending the dove laden with psychedelic salve, the Holy Spirit asked me to open my Bible. I generally try to read a little Old Testament and a little New Testament at the same time, just so I get some cool Jesus stuff to perk me up while I’m mired in Numbers and Chronicles. The Spirit told me to open to the next few chapters in my New Testament reading, which included Mark 4. I read, knowing that God was going to show me something cool.
It was the parable of the sower and the seeds, a story I’ve studied several times this year with different teachers and in different ways. I immediately thought, “Well, I can’t squeeze anymore juice from this! I’ve been schooled on the Greek and everything! This must not be it.”
And then God schooled me.
Just to recap, the parable tells the story of seeds falling on soil of different qualities: the path where there’s no soil at all, rocky soil, thorny soil, and then the good soil. The seed didn’t do so hot in the first three, but the fourth one helped the seed thrive. The purpose of the parable is to show what happens when people hear God’s Word. Some people are ready to let the Word thrive in their lives; some aren’t.
But the Spirit showed me this story in the context of my personal struggle. I was trying to plant seeds for my life in thorny soil—soil where trouble already had planted itself, ready and waiting to choke out this optimistic new life. God encouraged me to search for better soil in which to plant these hopes and dreams of mine and not waste any more time trying to cultivate this stubborn area.
So many times, I bring things to God only in prayer and underestimate the power of seeking guidance in His Word. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It’s not just type on a page; it’s special because it’s one of the ways God communicates with us and speaks to our hearts.
If you want confirmation of something, ask God to confirm it for you through His Word. If you need guidance, ask God to provide it through His Word. The answers you get that way feel so solid—not like a feeling in your heart, which is sometimes hard to discern. But God reveals to you the chapter and verse on the page, which is incredible and so reassuring.
Funny thing about the Word, though—you actually have to read it to glean these answers. But God loves to reveal things to us when we ask. Just remember Matthew 7:7: Seek and you’ll find! Ask and it’ll be given to you! Knock and the door will be opened! That’s three ways God says, “I’ll fill you in if you only ask!”
But you have to ask. Just ask, and God will reveal the power and truth of His Word to you.
Has God ever revealed answers or guidance to you through His Word?