Who gets overwhelmed by decisions? My hand is raised. Life is brimming with decisions right now: for me, Brian, and all my close friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re facing a sizable decision right now, too. Decisions seem to be the fabric that our earthly lives are made of.
I won’t write a novel about all that’s going on in my life right now, because I’m sure you have enough stress in your life to fill a page, too. Basically, I’m facing a lot of changes and decisions having to do with jobs, education, my wedding coming up, and the future in general.
My first response to a decision is to agonize through all the details: to flesh out every single option, the pros and cons, how the options would make me feel, and if I could picture my life with each option applied. There’s a lot of mental energy involved in the process, even when the decision is something dumb like table place cards for my wedding. Imagine what happens when the decision is a job change. If your brain doesn’t work like this, the good Lord has blessed you.
However, most people struggle with bigger decisions, because they alter your life so dramatically. Who should you date and potentially marry? Should you move to another city? What job would be the wisest option right now? I’m a young’un, so there are many life decisions coming along with age that I haven’t even considered!
Christians have the peace of knowing God and trusting his wisdom and will. But even then, seeking God’s will is a daunting task. This is something I have always struggled with, because there’s so much mystery surrounding the task. Should you look for a sign of some sort? What option do you feel peace about… and how do you even define the feeling of ‘peace?’ Are your underlying motives fear or selfishness? Will you read into a certain Bible verse, piece of advice, or coincidence too much, and end up making a fool of yourself?
What if you make the wrong decision?
That’s the biggest question for me. What if, after sorting through every single detail, praying for God’s will incessantly, asking for advice from wise people, trying to examine my motives, and submitting to the Bible’s teaching, I still make the wrong decision?
This accusing question has been quieted through one realization:
God uses everything in our lives to 1) bring himself glory, and 2) make us more like Jesus.
If you step back, away from the details that are in-your-face, and look at the main purpose for your life, this is it: God’s glory and your sanctification. These purposes can be accomplished through everything: even decisions that you would later consider ‘wrong.’
Yes, we seek to be wise, but even when things go wrong, God will use it. He uses every relationship, job, day, and minute to make us look more like Jesus. I just want to know him more and accomplish his purposes! May every piece of my life bind me closer to him: the carefree beachy days, the days weighed down by details and hard work, the days of deepest grief and sorrow, and the days of the mundane.
Will we take wrong turns, have disappointments, and struggle in this life? Most definitely. It’s to be expected. But even when we are getting overwhelmed by decisions, our Father is not bound by time. He sees all that we will be throughout eternity, and he has a reason for it.
This simplifies life, doesn’t it?
I have been especially encouraged by this passage in Ecclesiastes:
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
. . . 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 12-14
I first read this passage when I was seriously trying to seek God’s will on a certain large life issue. And I laughed out loud. “Well, there’s a time for everything. That is not helpful in deciding what thing it’s time for.”
But where I had been searching for a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer from God, he brought me back to a peaceful remembering of my life’s overarching purpose. Yes, everything he does will endure forever. He will use everything.
So, is it the right time for fill-in-the-blank? God won’t always give you the clear answer you crave. I have come to believe that our job is to do our best to make wise decisions, then move on in confidence and trust.
Step back for a moment, beloved child of the King. He will use everything for his purposes. It will all be okay in the end.
Hello! I'm Anna, a college student living in the Midwest. I'm a strong believer in uncontrollable laughter, powerful words, and a morning cup of coffee. I pray these posts will encourage you to live a full life with and for God: unhindered. Follow me on social media for post updates!