There’s a world of difference between making a wrong decision, and making a decision which doesn’t turn out at all the way you wanted.
For those of you who believe, as I do, that God has a plan for our lives, I suspect we often also believe on some level that there are two kinds of decisions. There is a God-ordained ‘right’ decision, which will, naturally, work out the way we want. And then there is a wrong, or at least, ‘less-God’s-perfect-will’ decision.
And we seem to tell ourselves sometimes that a decision must fall into category number two if it didn’t go the way we hoped.
But there’s a flaw in the logic somewhere.
When something doesn’t go the way you expected or hoped it would – when a trust is broken, or a relationship ends, or a deal goes south, or a job offer goes to someone else – we shouldn’t necessarily tell ourselves that if we’d only prayed more, we could have avoided it, or at least have seen it coming.
That’s a lot of pressure. And often, it’s just not that simple.
Jesus himself told us that in this world we would have trouble. We’ve already heard those words from God. So I’m not sure why we – why I – sometimes delude myself into thinking that if I just listen hard enough I can hear other counsel from my very same God that will allow me to, without exception, get out of what he’s already told me will come along from time to time on my journey.
It’s not that God necessarily wants or wills the trouble that comes our way. And it’s not that he doesn’t help us to make wise and even supernaturally guided choices that avoid some unnecessary pain. But we messed with the world. Our human brokenness has made this a world where, no matter how much we pray or listen or obey, we will have trouble sometimes.
The only simple part is this -
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).
In all things, God is working.
In all things, your best interests are being taken care of.
Sometimes, it’s not because we aren’t listening to God. Sometimes, it’s just that we live in a troublesome world.
Things don’t always make sense. But out of all things, God can still make good.
So no matter what trouble or uncertainty we’re trying to find our way through, we can keep trusting him, and listening to him, and loving him.
He’s got this.
(Image copyright sacks08)