As of late I’ve had the opportunity to ponder on the effects of some of the decisions and choices that I’ve made.
It started because of being asked to step into an interactive role with customers at work. In doing so, God granted me the gift of seeing many different people. Some who have moved in and out of my life in a quick and superficial manner. Others who have spoken truth and love in times when I knew that only God heard my heart cry.
Those interactions got me to think back on some of the relationships that I have held on to—some (more recently) have been life giving, honoring, full of loving words, challenges and truth…and others have led to heartache, pain, betrayal and unbelievable loss.
As I reflect on the latter—there is a common thread that ran through those relationships that until now, I had been unwilling to admit. Those relationships were outside of God’s Will…not only did I know that they were outside of the Will of God; I held onto them as if my life depended on having that relationship, which was unhealthy or just plain bad for me…forcing the result to be more pain!
I think it ironic that today as I write, I see that I am loved so deeply that even as I am given moments of clarity to make a different decision—God loves me so much that He allows me to make my own decisions. It makes me think of my relationship with my teenage daughter. Many times when she is making decisions that will influence her life or comfort or health; I will have a candid conversation with her. Letting her know my perspective of the path that she is choosing and the potential impact it may have on her. There are many times when she heeds my words of caution, knowing that I love her deeply and want the best for her life.
Though there are other times when my words fall on deaf ears…or on an emotional and unmovable heart. And though I may consider the situation she is in from a different perspective (that of a lifetime already lived) she forgets that I share my heart out of love and protection for her and instead thinks that I don’t know the things of which she is experiencing. Those are the times I have to be willing to let go of my own desire to keep her from what I see as hurt or pain in the future and instead allow her to make her own decisions and choices…which made me think about God and His heart for me—I have the freedom to make any decision that I desire.
…that truly amazes me!
There is a plethora of examples that He leaves for me in His word. Today because I am considering relationships, my mind wanders to the impact of a couple of relationships that were outside of God’s Will. David and Bathsheba…lust, lies, deception, adultery and murder. Abraham and Hagar…manipulation, selfishness and thinking their ways were superior to God’s.
The relationships themselves were not ones that were honoring and loving…to the ones who were involved, to others that were around them and especially to God. However, these relationships were not all evil and wrong—there were great and numerous blessings that came out of them…because of the goodness of God, not because the relationships themselves were good.
I have the freedom to make any decision that I desire. I have the ability to make decisions based on free will. Though I have that freedom to choose it doesn’t mean that I am free of the consequences of those actions. Some of which are ongoing. I can choose to hold on to those relationships or do those things that in the future may cause some tremendous pain…or I can choose to listen to the whispers that my Father God is whispering in my ear, which for me, many times sound like the challenge of a godly friend.
What does this all mean for me in this moment—?
It means that I recognize that many times God can and does save me from my foolish and emotionally driven decisions…though He doesn’t always.
It means when I refuse to trust God or take matters into my own hands, though God doesn’t want me to turn from His loving heart for me, He will allow me to choose the path that I desire.
It means today—I get to see how God is good to me—before, during and after—the times when I make irrational and at times foolish choices.
It means I have the chance right now to align my thinking, decisions and actions with that of a holy and just and loving God…in whatever area of my life that I feel His Spirit nudging me.
It means that I get to see in this moment the tremendous love of a Father who wants the absolute best for His girl…and that I have the opportunity to convey the same love to my daughter through the way I enter into relationship with her.
Psalm 30:4 “Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name.”
Father God, thank you for the joy of being able to see your heart for me. I love the beautiful way that you cover me with love as you reveal places in me that need the convicting power of your truth. Thank you for the gift of those who have drawn me close to you…both the ones who bring me to my knees in desperate prayer and those who I get to celebrate the joy of your goodness with. Thank you for revealing your heart to me in this time that I get to spend with you. In the most powerful name of Your Son, Jesus.