by Rhonda Loucks
My heart has been so torn. Torn by the inability to instantly know what direction my life is to be taking. More than all things, I want the will of God. I have wasted too many years being mediocre. I want to make every second of every day count. I am desperate to make sure that the people I meet and those I work alongside of are touched by the amazing Christ who lives inside of me. That, the choices I make and the way I live, allow the very best possibility of just that; them meeting Him. And yet, even with such great desire, I am torn because I stand at a fork in the road.
Now I am not afraid of the fork (both choices are not fearful), only that I will make the decision to turn and travel one path, when it was the will of God for me to choose the other. I know that I can always get back on track, because I have made these mistakes before and have struggled cross country, knee deep in mud, to switch paths. Sometimes this realignment has happened after an hour or two, and sometimes it has been years. Years of wasted time down the path that was never God’s direction. Now, I am not talking about denying Christ and traveling on a path of sin and death. I am talking about a believer who is always in search of the best path that will allow me to accomplish the most for my Lord Jesus Christ.
And so, here I am…waiting on the Lord to reveal my direction. Afraid that He has spoken and I was too intent on something else and did not hear, or that I am not familiar enough with His voice in these loud and complicated decisions to distinguish what He is saying. Also afraid that just waiting is exactly what I am not supposed to be doing. Because waiting, doing nothing is the sure way to wasting the precious years I have left. Frozen…that describes it best…I am frozen at another fork in the road.
The last time I was frozen, I waited and studied and meditated and prayed. And, then a feeling came over me. I wish I could say that it was the fireworks and explosive kind of feeling that some people seem to have. But it was not. I wish even more that it was the word for word answer that comes straight from the red-letters of the New Testament. If it were such a quote then I could overlay them and know that the syntax matched exactly. This would surely lead me to a place where there would be no doubt in my understanding of His answer. But, in my experience that just isn’t the way He speaks to me. He usually speaks to me with a subtle voice in my thoughts, or from an interpretation of the scripture I am reading, but it takes me some faith to recognize His voice.
The voice that speaks to me is so unique. It is everything that I mostly am not and therefore it is not, cannot be me. This is not my voice. And, just so you know…I do not hear voices, I hear one voice. I know it is the voice of my Lord because I know how He sounds and the words He uses when He teaches. My knowing His voice is built on a relationship that has endured and overcome some pretty ridiculous and amazing situations. It is the endurance that has given this relationship a certainty: my believing in Him and then in His “proving” Himself to be true…in everything…over and over. It is the growth that helps my faith to hear. Oh, I know His voice. I just wish I could get Him to speak on demand…in my time.
But then, that would not be Him at all. How can I respect that He is the God of all things…the Sovereign Lord of all that has ever been…and still want to control when He speaks? I am humbled at my words and stand amazed in His patience and love for me. When I think about how many times I have been frozen by a decision, I stand embarrassed. And yet, He is never embarrassed of me. He shelters me as I struggle to make a choice. And, when I finally stop struggling and become still…then, not until then…He whispers.
“Be strong, I am right here.” And He asks me the questions that guide my understanding. “What do you know about me”? “What do you know to be true based on our experiences together?” “What have I taught you?” “What instructions have I given you for just such a decision as this?” And His whispered questions become fuel for my soul. My spirit whirls with scripture…even the ones I memorized as a child. My mind clears and begins to simplify the problem at hand. My heart pounds with feelings of certainty. I begin to speak aloud and reason out what I know, what I believe, and compare those certainties with the basic decision before me.
I stood at a fork in the road and became fearful of the choice I might make. Then I quit all that I was doing and just stood still, facing Him. When I was ready, He turned me around and I looked at each path separately. Instead of trying to look down the road and answer all the things that I might encounter there, I just considered the first step on each path. One step on the path to my left would mean that I would bind myself to the financial security of a job and then trust God to give me enough strength to accomplish the things that I know He has asked me to do. Stepping to my right would be more about doing what God had asked me to do, and then trusting that the financial needs would work out. In such basic simplicity, I gained understanding.
What had been such a complicated decision for me now seems so simple. So simple, that I again stand embarrassed…this time in front of you. But, if there is just one of you out there that over analyzes their life…who meets every decision with such honest passion and desire to do the will of God…that you become frozen in the fear of failing, than my embarrassment of presenting this simple example is worth it.
Trust what you know about the character of God and the teachings of His scriptures. Recall what you have already experienced with Him. Shut out everything else and quit trying to solve all the things you may encounter in the future. Be still and let His presence simplify the situation before you. Basically, consider these questions. Which path screams Christ as its priority? And, which path is more about Him in the secondary position? Then relax, and when He turns you around, just take one step.
Rhonda D Loucks is a wife, mother, Sunday School teacher and member of Wichita First Church of the Nazarene. She contributes regularly to the church’s Women’s Ministry newsletters. More of her writings can be found at www.uncutobedience.com.