What a dumb statement that is yet people say it to try to explain when bad things happen in our lives.
Growing up in church I always heard that “All things work together for good” which is a piece from Romans 8:28.
Most of the time things weren’t exactly “good” at the time.
I think that Ecclesiastes 9:11 probably sums it up best:
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Time and chance. Yes, that certainly happens to us all.
We all make decisions – both good and bad along life’s journey. I used to stress out about making decisions because I wanted to make the perfect one. I finally realized that you just do your best and make the choice.
Some people call it “fate” and I heard someone make this statement:
Fate is a tricky lady. When you try to figure her out, you just get more confused. All I know is that the mistakes I have made have made me who I am today. If I were to go back and relive it differently, I wouldn’t be the me I am now. I thought things were supposed to happen for a reason but the truth is that things happen randomly for no reason at all. But they create opportunities, even the missed ones. The question is: can you recognize that next opportunity when it matters the most?
I can tell you from personal experience that God can handle the choices we make. Some folks in the church get all tied up with the subject of predestination where they say that God already knows your life from beginning to end. If that were true, what would be the point of freedom to choose? I do believe God directs our path but if we fail to follow that path, He can still take that path and make it work for his purpose. With each choice we make, He knows where that is headed and he can re-calculate our directions so that things can work together for good.
I know it’s confusing.
I have often been fascinated with books and movies about alternate realities and how choice we make have a ripple effect in our future. The day we choose not to take the normal route to work or the time we miss the train. Somehow it all works together. It can stress you out if you think about it but I have always been encouraged by the song “God is in Control”. If God has every hair on our head numbered, then that’s pretty certain He’s in control.
Decisions are hard. We all want to make the right decision. It’s difficult to make the perfect decision that is free of emotions or peer pressure.
I have made decisions that I just knew was right. I felt it in my being although it contrary to what anyone else thought. Sometimes it was right and sometimes it wasn’t but in the end, I have made it here. I learned from those experiences. It would really be nice if God spoke to us audibly and directed us that way. I think it would be a whole lot easier but, for some reason, He doesn’t. I’d like to know why. But, for now, I try to do the best I can in listening to Him in however He chooses to communicate. Many times He does this when I am silent. When I turn off my devices and shut out the noise around me I can sense Him. It’s not anything spooky or freaky. It’s just the best way I know to tune into Him. Even then, He sometimes doesn’t speak.
I don’t know what to say except that He’s God and I’m not. I can’t make Him do what I want Him to do. I guess that’s the part about Him being God.
If you are struggling with a decision, I suggest that you take a time out. Turn off your mobile devices, silence the noise around you. Sit silently before God. This invites Him to speak to you and direct you. Even if you aren’t a believer, just sit silently. Calm yourself and your anxieties over the decision. This isn’t some weird form of meditation but nothing more than a mental timeout. Sometimes I have done this and still didn’t have a clue about what decision to make but at least I had a clear mind. Many times the time out is the same as when your GPS has to refresh your directions. It resets you to a new course.
God knows us. He knows what we need and when we need it. Even more than we know ourselves. Sometimes we knock on doors for Him to open but sometimes He opens doors that we never thought to knock on. That’s why He’s God. Whether you believe in Him or not, there is a reason. Many times I fussed and rebelled at things He has done in my life at the time but years and years later I have looked back and saw how that moment changed my life and directed me to something better.
I sure wish God would tell us what He was up to but He doesn’t.