Making choices in life is something we do every single day. We get up and choose what clothes we will wear for the day, and we decide what to have for breakfast, and so on. They are the easy choices, the ones we usually make without thinking much about them. But what about the big choices in life, like a partner, our ministry, and where to live?
At the age of eighteen, I had a promise from the Lord about my future, regarding marriage. Reaching my thirties, without that promise fulfilled, I began to wonder whether I had missed it. People told me that it hadn’t happened because I was being too fussy and narrow-minded. I began to doubt my own interpretation and even my own ability to hear from God. I started to think like Abraham’s wife, Sarah, believing that I needed to make it happen myself.
I ended up making painful mistakes, several times, trying to make God’s promise happen, and it led to hurt and brokenness. Have you ever tried to do that? It can result in an Ishmael, when we strive and reason, rather than waiting on the Lord and His timing. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’
Although Abraham produced an Ishmael, God did not forget His promises or turn His back on Abraham. Genesis 22:18 tells us that all the nations of the earth would be blessed because Abraham obeyed God’s voice.
God can turn our mess into a message, and we can find hope for our lives in His Word. You may feel regrets about choices you have made, and feel you’ve missed God’s plan. But the Bible tells us that God still fulfilled His promise through Abraham, even though he had made a mistake. It is true that our mistakes may have consequences, and we need to deal with those, but God does not waste our pain when we humble ourselves and ask Him to forgive us.
We may also need to forgive others and ourselves. Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him’. When we give everything to Him, He works all things together, even the mistakes, for His glory and our good.
Prayer: Dear Lord, only You can make a message out of my mess, and I give it to You. I ask for Your forgiveness for going my own way. I forgive others who have hurt me, and I choose to forgive myself. Help me to trust You with all of my heart, and not lean on my own understanding. I choose to submit to You and thank You that You will straighten out my path. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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