Decisions, decisions, decisions. Everyday we make multiple decisions about any number of things; what to wear, what to eat, what email to action first. We make so many decisions without really thinking to hard about it, like whether or not you should have a coffee (obviously the answer is always yes) or whether or not we should go online and check Facebook. I lose count of the number of decisions I make on a day-to-day basis without really thinking about them. But what about the decisions that require more than a passing thought? The big life altering decisions, like whether or not you should take a new job, or whether or not you should continue a relationship, or where you should send your kids to school. How about the decision to believe in something bigger than yourself?
Ten years ago I was at a crossroads in my life and had to make some big decisions. There was a boy on the scene that shouldn’t have been on the scene at all (that’s a story for another day) and there was pain and heartache (on my end, not his) and I found myself asking some big questions about life. Why am I here? What is the point of it all? Is God really real? That last question was one that I had asked on and off for years especially as I had grown up with one faith but had other people talking to me about another faith. I had dipped my toes into the faith pool on and off but at that point I made the decision to actually jump in and find out once and for all if this Jesus was real.
I threw the challenge out to God that if He was real, I wanted proof. If He really was the Almighty Creator, I wanted Him to show himself. I was fairly arrogant back then and very much doubted the existence of this man called Jesus, so in my pain and arrogance I demanded the Almighty turn up to this fight and tell me why my life was falling apart.
Short version, He turned up.
From the moment that I threw that challenge out, God came to the party. He continuously showed up in different ways in my life, whether it be through a dream, or through people speaking certain things that no one but I knew about, or through reading the bible or listening to worship music, or through an unexplainable peace that came over me each time I prayed out. God showed up time and again, each time I cried out. And so I made the conscious decision to commit my life to Jesus and follow Him in all His ways. I walked into this with my heart wide open and it has been a decision I have never regretted. I have questioned it at times, and I have questioned Him at times, but I would never turn back or turn away because I have encountered Him time and again and know that He is real and that is more than enough for me.
Did my life become perfect after I gave my heart to Christ? Nope. If anything, things started shifting in a direction that I didn’t actually like or really understand at the time, but here’s the thing, I made the DECISION to follow Him. And the same is true for you. It is within our control to say yes or no. We commit or we don’t. We stay or we run. While at times our options and choices may not be ideal, we still have a choice. That choice may be taking the lesser of too evils, but you still get to decide what is the lesser of two evils for you. And so when things started going south, I made another decision and that was that I would stay the path. I made the decision to not run when things got too hard but to trust that He knew what He was doing. Even today, ten years on and after experiencing Jesus in ways unimaginable, I still have to make the conscious decision to stick with Him when things get hard or don’t go my way. I have to make a daily decision to look heavenward and not take the easy road. I have to consciously choose to depend on Him. And if you’re in that position today, can I encourage you to stay the path; don’t walk away from Him because He is faithful.
You may be struggling with a number of things and He may be silent right now, but stay the path because He is still working. Your prayers haven’t fallen on deaf ears. He isn’t ignoring you or punishing you because that isn’t His heart. His silence is not rejection, it is an invitation to trust Him. God made a promise to Abraham and it was years and years before it was fulfilled but when it was, my word it was incredible. All you need to do is read Genesis and see just how that promise was fulfilled. Having said that, it is still hard. This walk can be hard, something that I know first hand.
While many of my prayers have been answered, many haven’t. There are some prayers, both for myself and others around me, that I have desperately prayed and cried over, that I am still praying and crying over, that God has yet to fulfil. Do I like it? No. Does it make sense or seem fair that God hasn’t answered me? Again, no. It’s especially hard when I look at situations and know that I can take matters into my own hands and go it alone. But I know what it is like to walk it alone and do it in my own strength and to walk with Him and I choose Him. I choose to remember that He is faithful and accept His invitation to trust Him. When God closes a door it is not a rejection but a redirection; He is leading you elsewhere and it may not make sense but it will in time. When God says wait, it is not to punish us but to protect us because while we may desperately want something, it doesn’t mean we are ready for it.
Again, I know this feeling well but I choose to walk with Him. And I will continue to make that choice over and over because anything else just isn’t worth for me. Any other way just isn’t an option for me. If you are at a crossroad and are feeling your heart harden towards Him, let me encourage you to press in; run to Him, not away from Him. Make the decision to seek Him more than ever before. Make the conscious decision to continue walking with Him through the valley because His word promises that He will be with you. His promise to us is that though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us; His rod and staff protect us (Psalm 23.) So choose to trust Him. Choose to believe in His promises and choose to give Him your heart because He is faithful and mighty and merciful. He is for you, so in the same way that He chose you as his child, choose Him to be your Father.