This all started for me this week as I was wrestling yet again with trusting God. I realized that trusting God was not enough; I needed to know what I was trusting God for, and that meant that I thought I needed Him to give me some more details.
Actually - a funny story. I was walking my dog one morning, praying about the decision I was facing, asking God what He was doing, trying to figure out if I should just make the move now and trust the provision later or trust for provision now and put off making the move until sometime in the future. Just then, I looked down at the sidewalk and saw a stray piece of Halloween candy from trick-or-treating.
A "Now and Later."
God thinks He's sooooo funny.
But that moment was a turning point for me in the way that I was thinking about things. Because it was true.
I realized I felt the same way a few months ago when I was trying to decide about my job situation. I had two really great offers on the table, and I was struggling to make a decision. Struggling to know what God would want me to do. And what made that decision so hard for me was that I truly believed there was not a wrong decision. That is, I knew that God would bless either decision, which meant it had to come down to more than just whatever details God might provide about the future course of my life. He wasn't going to give me the details. It was up to me to make a choice and determine the details.
The same was true this week. I'm not convinced that, when it comes to God's blessing, there was a wrong choice. I think if I had chosen courage now and provision for the future, He would have blessed me. And I think if I had chosen provision now and trust for the future, He would have blessed me. I think that in the grand scheme of things, God was going to bless whatever step of faith that I chose.
Now, that raises a difficult question. If God is going to bless whatever decision that I make, does He even actually care?
That's naturally where some folks' minds go. If it doesn't matter what I choose, then God doesn't care what I choose or why I choose it. God...isn't a factor at all.
But that's not what I said.
What I said was that what it really came down to was what I was trusting God for. Read that last long paragraph again - my choice was between courage and faith...or faith and trust. God desires both in my life - courage and trust. But not all of the choices in front of me require both in equal measure. So then, God cares. God doesn't care what I choose, but He cares how I'm choosing what I choose. That is, am I choosing in faith? Am I choosing a God-honoring thing?
There's obviously a clear difference between, say, truth and a lie. Between forgiveness and condemnation. Between a kind word and a crude word. God clearly has a preference in situations like this. But if I'm choosing between courage and trust, and choosing in faith, then I think God is ready to honor either. Or both.
And that's really the clarity that I needed. I didn't need the details; I just needed to decide what I was trusting God for because that ended up being the thing that shaped my thinking -and my heart - about the whole thing.
That's not to say it made the choice any easier, but it made it more manageable.
How is that? How do you make the so-called impossible choice between two good things, both of which would be blessed?
A little more on that for you tomorrow.