Rob Patz – SGNScoops Publisher’s Point
Welcome to the May Publisher’s Point. Of course, May is for mothers, and I want to wish my mom a very happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for always being there for me, loving me and pushing me to do things that I may not have felt comfortable with, but you always believed in me and listened to me.
I often think about listening … you know, the famous saying, “Do you hear me now?” For so many of us, we struggle with listening. It is so much more fun to talk then it is to listen. Have you ever been a part of the conversation and realized that you may have not heard the entire story as you are making a comment and you see the face of the person you’re talking with and the bewilderment on it? I know it’s happened to me, so I’m sure as you’re reading this, you’re thinking of a time that someone didn’t listen to you.
I also have been struggling lately with wondering if God is listening to me. Of course, I know He is. I know He hears everything I say, and at times, I am amazed that the Creator of the universe has enough time to listen to what I have to say. Sometimes, I wonder though if He is really listening. Then, I have to realize that it isn’t the fact that He may not be listening, but that what I am saying may not exactly be what He is wanting for my life.
I’ve dealt with that a lot lately, understanding and questioning a lot of life events that happened. I have spent nights alone pacing the floor, frustrated, asking God, “why won’t you answer my prayer?” I’m quickly reminded that God doesn’t need to answer my prayers, because He’s God and I’m not. I’m also reminded that we don’t serve a God who will answer our prayers if it is something that will hurt us. God cannot do something that is against His will and what He desires for our life to be. God is perfect. He sees the greater picture.
I have to think of my early life in the Midwest. The terrain is very flat in most places, but there are times where there are small hills. If you’re out in farm country, you might be behind a tractor and have a desire to pass one of these tractors that are taking up valuable time by going slower than you think they should. I was always taught that you never passed a tractor on one of these hills, because you don’t know what’s on the other side.
It dawned on me the other day that God knows what’s on the other side of the hill. I see the tractor, which is the problem, and I want to pass that problem. I can’t see everything on the other side of that hill, and God is preparing me for what is just over the crest. This doesn’t mean that I understand, and there are times when I honk the horn to make the tractor move. I’m trying to learn that God has exactly the best thing in mind for me, so He is listening. He may not always answer the way I want, and sometimes, I may wonder exactly where He is.
Susan Ashton had a great song in the 1990s where she talked about God and how at times He felt next to her and other times she felt like she was at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I will tell you that over the last few months, I have seen new value in that song and in those lyrics.
So know today that God loves you. He hears your prayers. He might be protecting you from what’s on the other side of that ridge, something that at this moment you are not ready for. Even though you want to pass the tractor, you have to wait. Understand that sometimes God asks us to stand still.
My dad used to say that God answers in three ways. He answers “yes,” “no,” and “not right now.” Sometimes, that answer is just not right now. It’s hard to understand, but God has a greater plan for your life than anything you can imagine. If you truly believe that He is your savior, then you also have to truly believe that He wants what’s best for you. We don’t serve a God who is out to punish us. We serve a God who wants us to worship Him and be in a close relationship to Him.
I hope to see you this year at Creekside 2017, which will be held from Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. For more information, visit www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/ or www.facebook.com/Creeksidegospelmusicconvention.
By Rob Patz
First published by SGNScoops Magazine in May 2017.
Rob Patz is the publisher of SGNScoops and the CEO of Coastal Media.
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