Have you ever had a decision set before you that required immediate attention?
I feel like all day every day I am faced with making small and large decisions. Small decisions about what I’m cooking for dinner and when I’m going to work out. And the bigger decisions like what preschool to choose for my daughter and how many hours I should be working.
When I back up for a second and take a look at my life through the lens of eternity, all of these questions (even the ones I consider to be large) seem tiny and insignificant. However, when life is busy and my head is looking down instead of up, I quickly get lost in the pressure of it all. Decision after decision—some successful and some closer to mistakes—have conditioned me to dread making a choice. In just a short time the small decisions start to feel like big ones, and all of the sudden I am paralyzed in a stance of not wanting to choose anything. I begin to find more comfort in not making any choices, for fear of making the wrong one.
Fear. Such a powerful thing, right? It is the ultimate thief of joy and life-sucker I have ever known. Now don’t get me wrong, there are rational fears. Fear of heights, fear of spiders, or fear of death…and if you ever want to see me run fast and scream like a little girl, then go ahead and put me in the same room as a snake. Buh-Bye.
When the fear of failure is stronger than our faith, or the fear of the unknown outweighs our hope in Him, who wins?
But then I think there is irrational fear. Fear that is overwhelming and keeps us from living our lives, that leaves us feeling suffocated. And I just can’t help but think that when we succumb to the power of this fear that we lose all opportunity to honor God. When the fear of failure is stronger than our faith, or the fear of the unknown outweighs our hope in Him, who wins?
God has a plan for my life. I know that and I trust that. He created me for a purpose and he knows the number of my days here on Earth. But when I am at a crossroad and the time comes for me to a make a call, do I really think that a decision I make has the power to throw God’s plan off track? Do my correct decisions hold the power to alter God’s plan? Uh, no. Do my mistakes override any work that God is doing in my life? Not a chance. God uses them all. And he doesn’t just use them all to keep himself busy, he uses them all to bring himself glory.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.”
With an open heart, mind, and willing hands, if I seek the Lord in my decisions I can trust that he will make his way known to me. And if I feel like he has given me two opportunities and I need to make a choice, then I can trust that whichever one I choose, he will still use! Is it crazy to think that sometimes there is just no perfect answer? Is it absurd to believe that sometimes God presents options before us and then gives us discernment to choose, never really revealing which choice is the “right” one? Rather, he expects us to seek him, step out in faith, and just pick one!
Is it crazy to think that sometimes there is just no perfect answer?
The other day as I was wrestling through this, I read in Isaiah 43:1 (emphasis added): “But now says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, and you are mine.”
This verse helps me come back to the truth that God is God and I am not. When decisions come up and I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, this verse helps me remember that ultimately I am a servant of God, I am his, and he is mine. I am called to serve him, I am redeemed by his love, I was formed in his image, and at the end of the day, my decisions aren’t about what is “right” or “wrong”, but what will honor him most. Even if a decision I make turns out different than I expected or perhaps I even consider it a mistake, I can trust that God will use is it all for good.
So at the end of the day, do I need to fear decisions so much? Nah. God will use them all. The good, the bad and the ugly. My job isn’t to make the right decisions, it is just to trust God to give me discernment, and guide my steps. May he reign in my life and be glorified.
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Image Credit: Eric Vondy, Creative Commons