Moses was a wanted man. He had killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew. Rather than face the wrath of Pharaoh, Moses fled Egypt and headed for Midian, where he ended up working for a priest of Midian named Jethro and marrying one of Jethro’s daughters. Time passed. One day, as Moses was tending his father-in-law’s flock, his attention was grabbed by an unusual sight. There on Horeb, the mountain of God, was a bush that was in flames. But the most unusual part was that the bush was not consumed by the flames. This really got Moses’ attention, so he approached the bush. As he got near to the bush, God spoke to Moses from within the bush, commissioning him to lead the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt. God needed to speak to Moses and used a burning bush to get his attention. (Exodus 3:1-12)
Fast forward some 1500 years. A young man named Saul was determined to extinguish the early church. Receiving permission from the high priest, Saul headed to Damascus to round up Christ followers there and bring them back to Jerusalem to face punishment. As he traveled on the road to Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly enveloped him and he was knocked from his horse. As he lay on the ground, Saul heard a voice, the voice of Jesus, who instructed Saul to rise and go to Damascus where he would be told what to do. Saul got up, unable to see, and headed for Damascus, as Jesus had instructed. And so, Saul became Paul, the apostle whom God used to reach the Gentiles for Christ. God needed to speak to Saul and used a light from heaven to get his attention. (Acts 9:1-22)
God sometimes uses unusual circumstances to get our attention. In 2015, I fell and tore the rotator cuff in my right shoulder, which required surgery. At the time, I was working in two different gyms as a personal trainer and aquatic fitness instructor. My recovery was going to require months and so I had to give up all of my clients and exercise classes. While recovering from the surgery, having much more time on my hands, I began journaling, and God began to speak to me. He was preparing me to do more for His kingdom than ever before. I never returned to the gyms. As I continued to listen for the voice of God, He directed me on the path He chose for me, studying for ministry and taking on more leadership roles at my church. God needed to speak to me and used my accident and surgery to get my attention.
When unusual things happen in our lives, when life heads in a direction that we never expected, God may be looking to get our attention. It’s at those times that we need to quiet ourselves and listen. God has a plan for each of us. When we focus our attention on Him, He will reveal it.