Monday, October 20, 2014

His Hand or His Face?

Photo courtesy of David Castillo/

One of the things I pray a lot about is seeking direction; or for confirmation that I’m doing the right thing. Do you do that?

My work life tends to be lumpy. The life of a consultant tends to be like that, however, in recent times there have been less lumps, meaning less projects and less income. I’m continually seeking God for clarity regarding my career.

As most of us writers know there are very few of us who are earning significant enough monies from our efforts that we’re able to go without other employment.

And what about all the clarity we seek with our writing? Do I keep pursuing publication, but isn’t this my calling, do I go the indie route, why won’t this story come out the way it should, well that $7 royalty cheque sure makes it all worthwhile, and on on we can go.


A while back I read this story about Mother Teresa that provides some great perspective. Many of you may be familiar with it. It goes something like this:

John Kavanagh went to Calcutta to work with Mother Teresa. While there, he asked her to pray for him. “What should I pray for?” she asked.
“Pray that I may have clarity,” he replied.
Mother Teresa responded, “No, I will not pray for that.”
“Why?” he asked.
“Clarity is the last thing you cling to,” she said. Kavanagh then remarked that she always seemed to have clarity.
She said, “I have never had clarity. What I always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
Too often I’m got caught seeking His Hand, rather than His face.

If God always gave us the answers, we wouldn’t need Him. Yes, clarity is wonderful but sometimes when we have it we head off and start running the race by ourselves rather than leaning on the Lord. We can find too much comfort and security while trusting in God requires us to continually come to the Cross seeking Him.

He’s interested in the journey, teaching us more about Himself and helping us to better understand ourselves. We’re all probably familiar with the line or one of its many variants:

“God is more interested in who we are becoming than what we actually achieve.”

Many of us love the story of Abraham. God told him to up and leave his homeland without giving any instructions as to where to go. Yes, God gave him a wonderful blessing at the same time but he still had no clarity as to where he was supposed to take his little family.

As that great Proverb says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6)

If you’re going through an unsettling season of change or indecision, may I encourage you to seek Jesus, seek to be in His Presence, not for what He can do for us.

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Northern Sydney. Ian's first novel of speculative fiction, Angelguard, is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter


  1. Well said, Ian. I hadn't heard that Mother Teresa story before - I'll have to remember it.

    1. Thanks Iola. It's a good story to keep locked away.

  2. That's a really thought-provoking post Ian. There have been a few times when I've had the "neon-sign" type of clear direction and I wished it was always like that. But other times I find God wants me to just step out and trust Him even if I don't know exactly what I'm meant to be doing. You're so right that He wants us to seek His presence and not just be interested in what He can do for us. Thanks for that perspective.

    1. Thanks Nola. It's great, though, that He steps alongside us. So as we take a step of faith, He takes one too. Too often we think we need to take a HUGE step when usually it's a series of small ones. Like turning up each day to write some words.

  3. Thanks Ian. Prov.3:5-6 are my life's verses. Trusting God in every situation will get you where the Lord wants you to be. I have lifelong proof of this. And so thankful what I wanted most was not the best thing after all. If we make a mistake (being human it's a cert,) He will not leave us to fumble around but will nudge us back on track. Yes, learn to seek His face and the knowledge of His grace.

    God bless

    1. Amen to that, Rita. Blessings to you, too.

  4. You're absolutely right Ian; we need to come to Jesus in prayer for no other purpose than to sit in His presence; everything else will fall into place. Good reminder!

    1. His presence is enough, isn't it Susanne? Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment.

  5. I rely on the fact that God is the good Shepherd, even when I'm not a good sheep. I ask Him to lead me and pull me in if I go astray. Then I'm not concerned about stepping off the path.