It's an impossible choice, trying to decide what the faithful thing to do is in a tough situation. It's made even more impossible when we know that our God works miracles and that anything is truly possible with Him, when we have lived those miracles and they are so near to us that we can already see them coming true in our own lives. The impossibility of the choice comes because we recognize that sometimes, we aren't just making a decision for ourselves; sometimes, we are deciding what God is going to be able to do in our lives from here on out. Sometimes, we know that we're putting limits on Him, that we're the ones taking away the miracle that God might want to do, that we are choosing not to wait and see, but to move now...on a very limited knowledge.
How can we ever make such an impossible choice?
We make the choice by knowing something as certain as we know the miracles of God, and that is His goodness. We make the choice by realizing that God doesn't put these decisions in our lives so that we'll make the "right" one, but just so that we'll make a faithful one. Not "the" faithful one because the truth is that there could be more than one faithful choice to make, but just "a" faithful one - a choice based on our recognition of who God is, who He has created us to be, what He has called us to in our lives, and so much more that goes down into the very depths of our spirit and soul.
When we realize that, we realize that a faithful choice is this - it is one that knows, by faith, that there will be blessing on either side of it. That God can and will still pour out His mercy and grace on us when we take that step and move in that direction. That even if it looks like we have limited Him, we have not put a limit on His goodness, and it will come rushing over like a flood when we commit our decision to His glory.
That doesn't always make a choice easier. Every choice is still a mix of hope and faith and grief over the things that we haven't chosen and mourning over the things that aren't going to be possible any more and confidence in the faithfulness of our decision and a thousand other very real things that strike at the core of our human being that we have to deal with. And that we have to deal with just as faithfully as the choice itself.
It doesn't do us any good to make a choice that we aren't willing to grieve. To make a choice that we aren't willing to hold onto with hopeful hands. To make a choice only to let go of everything and "just have faith" about it. That's not a faithful decision. That's not God-honoring. We said on Monday that faith is an active living, an active choosing, and that means that we don't just throw our decisions to the wind and hope that God picks them up somewhere; we make them knowing that the goodness of God is right in front of us, no matter which path we go down.
The only question, then, is which path we are willing to engage.
With all of its rocky crevices and steep drop-offs and underbrush full of thorns and maybe a few wildflowers, butterflies, and beautiful shade trees along the way, which path are we truly willing to engage, wholeheartedly, and embrace every bit of its journey in faith? That is the path that we must choose, and then trust that the goodness of God will meet us there.
It's hard, but no one said the faithful thing is ever easy. Simple, maybe, but not easy.
So as you stand at these crossroads, looking forward into a future that could go one way or another, how does it change your perspective to think that it is not one dark road and one light, but two roads that lead deeper into the goodness of God? What pressure does it take off your shoulders if you know that there is not one "right" road and one "wrong" one, but two that will take you straight to the heart of God Himself? What if, when you look at the choice ahead of you, you trust that no matter what path you take, God will meet you there?