Yeah, you know it. The one we all have to make, all throughout our lives, more than once…
The choice between right and wrong.
It’s not always some big, momentous choice, although there are those too. Most often, it’s the smaller, daily choices we have to make that are the real challenge.
If you’ve followed from the very beginning of this blog, you’ll know I’ve used this quote more than once: “There is beauty in every moment.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
No matter where you are in the world or what you’re doing, I’ve maintained, there is always beauty to be found. Something to thank God for and to find joy in.
And that is absolutely true.
Thing is, though, I started forgetting about that little philosophy when things here in this new place didn’t quite line up with all my hopes and expectations.
There were the normal feelings of homesickness and adjusting to a new way of life, but then, well… it started morphing. And I kinda started complaining. And stomping my feet, wondering why God told us to move when we were perfectly happy before.
The moment I realized I was letting things get out of control was at a women’s conference at our new church.
The speaker shared a powerful testimony, the kind that can’t help but impact you.
Only I wasn’t listening all that well. Focused on missing our church in Colorado, and stewing on some past experiences where I’d felt hurt and misunderstood.
So when I felt the familiar tap of the Holy Spirit on my shoulder, saying, “Go and pray for that woman over there, standing alone and crying,” you’d think I’d obey. After all, hadn’t I been that woman before? Didn’t I know even right this second what it felt like to feel alone in a room full of people?
But I’m ashamed to say I ignored His prompting, and for as selfish a reason as it gets: because I was feeling too insecure and angry about my own stage in life to worry about anyone else’s.
God, I can’t tonight, I argued back. I’m tired and I’m still getting used to this place, this church. I don’t even know anyone here.
Conviction followed me the second I stepped outside of that church, and I realized-that bad attitude I’d been allowing myself to have? Yeah, it had just gotten in the way of God’s blessing. Had kept me from reaching out to someone in need of His comfort, and caused me to directly disobey Him.
My “little” sin wasn’t just affecting me anymore… it was affecting others now, too.
And not just that night… God brought to mind a few other opportunities I’d missed as well.
The Lord has an interesting sense of humor, because He also used some of my very own words to challenge me.
About a year ago you’ll remember I was co-hosting a retreat with a friend called “Bloom: Where you are, as you are.”
On the second day, I’d taught on “the where you are” part, reminding the women who’d attended that we could always choose to thrive and honor the Lord where we were, even when we didn’t like where we were.
What about that, daughter? I felt the Lord asking. Will you choose to honor me where you are, even when you don’t like where you are?
Are you going to be satisfied with just teaching the truth, or will you do the harder thing and follow it yourself?
Oh, man. I had really been missing it.
Oh, Lord, I’m sorry, I prayed. I’ve been angry lately that you asked us to move and had us leave so many things behind, and I’ve missed a lot of good right in front of me because of it. I’ve stopped trusting you and started doubting your promises–as if you’ve ever gone back on a promise! But I know you told us to come here, and you are Lord of my life. So whether things ever turn out the way I want them to or not, I’ll do my best to honor and obey you and I’ll go back to trusting in your promises. If there’s any way I can make it right, Lord, please show me.
Thank the Lord for His grace when we mess up, because He did! For all the opportunities I’d missed, God showed me a way I could either apologize, adjust my attitude, or reach out in another way.
That was “the choice” only I could make. And it’s a choice I have to continue to make on a daily basis, in many different areas.
Will I choose to honor Him where I am…
Even if I don’t like where I am?
The temptation to doubt and sometimes complain hasn’t gone away. There are still days where the promised rainbow looks pretty faint in the middle of a storm.
But it has gotten so much better, and you know what?
He is always good, always faithful to His promises, and worthy of our obedience and praise…
We just get the choice of whether we’ll praise Him or not.