My Life in Words
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Tough decisions. All of us face them from time to time. Some people face them more frequently than others. Then, there are those really tough decisions that come along every so often (hopefully not too often). Whatever the case, we are all faced with choices along with these decisions... How do I decide? Should I get advice on this decision and if so, from who? When do I need to make this decision? The reality is, going into any major decision and facing it on your own can be difficult and stressful to say the least. So, what choices do we have? Well, we can go to friends or family to ask advice. Sometimes this is quite helpful. Other times, it can cause more confusion as we get conflicting opinions or vastly different suggestions. There is one clear answer that will always help.
As for the questions that we looked at before. How, do I decide? Who should we get advice from? When do I need to make this decision... There is one scripture that immediately comes to mind that I believe covers all of these.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
If we pray to God fervently when trying to make a tough decision and trust in Him, He will direct our path. In other words, “directing our path,” he will guide us through this decision.
Dagney and I have had a handful of decisions in life to make over this last year and even up to right now that have been pretty major. Nothing bad... Just big life decisions relating to where we may move in the near future, vocational decisions, ministry decisions, etc. Both of us know for sure that we need God’s guidance with these decisions. “Lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” means so much when trying to make these big decisions.
Now, does that mean that we should not seek advice from others? Certainly not. However, it is important who you seek this advice from. If you are not careful, someone may give you advice based on their own selfish ambitions, or maybe they simply won’t give great advice. But, I do believe that we can always get great advice when we seek council from someone with godly wisdom.
Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
It can actually serve us well to seek advice from multiple people with big decisions.
Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Even after we have sought council, prayed continually and have waited on an answer, it can be easy to be tempted to lose heart if we don’t quite understand why we don’t have the answer yet. We may not always see everything God is actively doing in our lives. We may not fully understand His ways or timing, but we can know this for certain. He does have a plan for us. We may just not quite understand it yet.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God has a plan for you. Even if you don’t quite see it yet. You may or may not have heard this poem and how it is an analogy explaining how we don’t always see how God is working in our lives. But, I love this one and will share it just in case you haven’t heard it before, because it is so impactful.
My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.
Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.
This poem represents a picture of God weaving a beautiful tapestry together with both light and dark colors (joyful and sorrowful times). On our side of the tapestry (the underside), we only see the knotted ends and frayed edges of what God is doing. If we could see God’s side of the tapestry, we could see Him doing something beautiful, but we live on the underside with God’s plans for our lives sometimes seeming unclear.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
No thread in our tapestry is bad. If it appears to be that way, we have to remind ourselves that we are simply looking at the backside. God who is weaving it together, knows precisely what He is doing. One day we will get to see our tapestry from God’s side and we will thank Him for every answered and unanswered prayer.
The last part of all of this is. While making these tough decisions, don’t be fearful or anxious when God does give an answer that can maybe make you a bit nervous. Trust God and know that He knows what is best in our lives.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.