FAITH

My experience with how God helps us make good decisions

 

 How God leads

 

(I’ve re-read some of my older posts. I wanted to see if my views have changed. Is this still good advice?  Would I write something different today? So I am including some excerpts from a few years ago of a particular time in my life when I was facing a difficult decision.)

Sometimes it’s hard to know if God is telling us to change course or if it’s the enemy’s (you can call him what you want) way of causing us to doubt what God has revealed.  This can be very difficult to figure out.

It would be wonderful if life were easy to figure out. Maybe for some people it is. Their life is easy, without conflict and things just fall into place. My life is not like that. It seems there’s always something up in the air.

And just a few hours ago, it got a lot more complicated.Our decision is whether we leave on a trip tomorrow or not. If I had days to write and you had days to read, I still wouldn’t be able to explain all the details. 

So once again I’m on my knees, if only figuratively. This morning the decision was made to go. We’ve rented the car. We’ve stopped the mail. We’re completely packed. Are you getting the picture? Now I’m having to reconsider. But I’m very proud of the fact that once again wisdom has been provided and once again I’m on the right track in my thinking. Tomorrow’s doctor’s appointment will seal the deal one way or the other.

A decision that is right for us may incur agreement among others. In fact, I had a number of people thought we should go ahead with our plans regardless.

What do we do if our decision is going to cause pain? It depends on the pain and whose going to feel it, doesn’t it?Whose pain is going to be greater? Why does it even have to be about their pain or ours? I didn’t realize until I started to post tonight that this is what this decision is all about. Their pain or mine? 

God leads 1

But sometimes another’s discomfort is not a reason not to move ahead with our plans.

So here I am tonight. Not looking forward to tomorrow. Knowing there’s no way, no matter what decision I make, that I’m going to satisfy everyone.

God knew all this was going to happen so he must have a plan. Tomorrow it will unfold. I am trusting God will once again give me a red flag if going ahead with our trip is wrong. If he doesn’t I’m going to assume it’s a “go”. 

God is not a God of confusion. Scripture is clear about that.

If I’m confused tomorrow about what to do, it will be my own confusion that I must muddle through.

I can still remember how difficult this decision-making process was. My emotions were all over the place. I felt torn between my mother and my husband, although my husband was completely supportive if we had to stay home.

Strangely enough, we were at this same place just last year. This time we made a completely different decision and that turned out to be the right decision as well. Very similar circumstances but a very different decision.

Here’s the rest of the story.

God leads

There is no confusions, no doubt, and no regrets with this decision to stay home.

Do I wish we could still go? Of course. Am I disappointed? Of course. But remember what I said yesterday about whose pain would be the worse? Who might tolerate the pain the best? Her pain would be worse if I left. Mine I can handle.

I really needed a break. At least I thought I did. God seems to have thought otherwise. I could’ve still gone as my brother lives with her but it was clear what I should do.

I’ve looked back over my process of decision-making and realize it’s been right on track. It hasn’t been without emotion. It hasn’t been without a lot of going back and forth. It certainly hasn’t been without a lot of prayer and thinking through what I know God wants of me overall.

I also mentioned that a “feeling” of peace is not always the feeling we get with making a right decision.

Peace is a state of being, not necessarily an emotion.

We know peace because we’ve made the right decision; we aren’t confused. But that doesn’t mean there’s an overwhelming feeling of relief. That may take a while BUT:

The right decision is the right decision.

The peace that God provides passes understanding, therefore, we can’t define it. But we know when we have it. Knowing we’ve made the right decision results in a quiet confidence. A quiet confidence that God has done the leading and we have done the following.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m disappointed my plans had to be canceled. I was so looking forward to relaxing in the sun.

Me at the beach Collecting shells on the beach.

Reading one book after another.

Walking the beach and listening to the waves.

My anger and frustration over the past few days have been wondrously replaced with understanding and love. 

As I fell asleep last night, I reminded myself of Proverbs 3:5 & 6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.”

He did. 

I knew this morning what my decision would be. It came as easily as deciding between coffee with cream, or without. It kind of surprised me how quickly I came around. I didn’t fight against it. It was simply the right decision and needed no more thought.

God is so good. When we ask for wisdom, He gives it. We may take many detours to find it. We may have to muddle through many options. We may take one path of thinking only to turn around and take another less traveled. It may seem as if God’s playing with us. We feel like a hamster on a wheel that God keeps turning. But if we hang in there, the wheel stops and we can get off.

I hope the only decisions I have to make for a while are whether I’ll wear the red sweater or the black one.

I’m as happy today with that decision as I was back then.

God bless and have a good day.