Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Butterfly Moment


I often hear people complaining that God doesn’t answer their prayers, or that they don’t feel God’s presence in their lives… I think the problem isn’t that God isn’t there, actively involved and answering, but we either don’t like what he is saying and block it out, or we just forget to actively listen.

As you might know, the decision for me between staying in RSA or moving to Finland to study back in 2014 was a tough choice, there were pros and cons on both sides, comfort zones and new adventures…
(If you didn’t know about this, you can read the two previous posts, since I haven’t posted anything since then. Crazy how time do dat.)

What I didn’t share back then, was that one day while wrestling with this decision, I was sitting at the pool praying about it. I was tired of trying to rationalize the decision myself so I said to God
“If it is your will that I move to Finland, give me a sign.”
I thought for a moment what could be a good sign, and then decided I hadn’t seen any butterflies for a while. On a whim, I continued
“Ok Lord, if it’s your will that I go to Finland, let a butterfly fly past, like now.”

I kid you not, I’d barely finished this sentence when a big white butterfly fluttered right past me and off into the bush. Did I jump up and shout hallelujah? Did I thank God for answering immediately and clearly?

Met this guy at the pool when I visited last Christmas

No I did not.
I said “Uuuhm, I don’t know if that counted God, cuz it came so fast. So, if a butterfly comes past me now then I’ll know it is your will.”

I was a modern-day Gideon (Judges 6) setting out my fleece and testing God’s powers.

 But God humoured me, another butterfly flew past.

I packed up, and went back home feeling only a little more sure of my decision. My thoughts were probably along the lines of “Thank you God for your input, I will take this into consideration in my plans.”

I should have been freaking sure, right!? I think I might have been just too surprised at having such a clear answer. That’s human nature, always doubting, always rationalizing. “It could have been a coincidence.”

And it is true, we should definitely test the spirits (1 John 4:1) and not just believe every ‘sign’ we see. I would have got some odd looks if I told people in Finland I came because the butterflies told me to. But now three years later, looking back and seeing all the good and the growth that came out of me moving to Finland, that moment of God answering my childish request is a lovely reminder that he does care, he is involved, and his answers sometimes come in the clearest (yet unexpected) ways.

In the letter to Ephesians, Paul speaks of God being “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (3:20) I think this is beautiful in the way that us asking is a part of God doing. When we ask him for something, he can do it immeasurably bigger than we could’ve imagined. But how will we know how much bigger he’s working, if we didn’t have a request in the first place?

 I want to encourage you to pray, to ask God to show himself, and to keep your eyes open to when he does.
Here's to many more butterfly moments ♡

I do still miss the pool though...

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