Decisions, Decisions

Linda Miller, former chaplain, CTCA/Southwestern Regional Medical Center

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path. - Proverbs 3:5-6

How many times have I given these verses to someone grappling with a decision? I'd say at least a hundred times. The words from this Bible proverb are as familiar to me as my home address. I know them well. Why? I'm one of those people who had to learn how to trust God. I haven't arrived; I'm still learning to trust.

My walk with God began 32 years ago. You'd think I'd really, really trust him 100 percent by now. Maybe, if I lived in a perfect world, or even a semi-perfect one, where I were immune to pressures, terrors, and unjust situations, I'd be just fine. Then, I could trust God completely! I mean it. Then, I could trust Him 100 percent!

So, I come to you today with a few thoughts about trusting God. I come with you, not as an expert, but as a learner like you. Let's go on this little journey together.

First, we need a visual picture of trust. Ever watch a baby in the arms of her loving mother? When my daughter Stephanie reaches down and picks up her baby daughter Gabriella, I see a picture of contentment. Gabriella pushes her head back and looks up into mom's eyes, while making her legs and body go soft and limp. She just lies there, resting, serene in the security of her mother's arms. There's no thought in baby's mind or heart that she will be harmed or that her mother will suddenly change her attitude and drop her!

You may not be blessed to be around a loving mother and baby, but I'll bet you've seen one in your lifetime. My goal is not for this little devotional to be more nice words, but instead, that we'd be inspired by truth ... God's truth.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trust takes us where mere human thinking can't take us. The word "trust" literally means to have confidence to endure or undertake anything with boldness. Our confidence is in the Lord.

Our confidence is in His promises. Our confidence is in His faithfulness. Our confidence is based on God's eternal nature and His unchanging word. Our confidence is in Him! When you know Him, you can trust Him.

Often, as a chaplain at CTCA, I hear patients and family members struggle with making decisions about what kind of treatment to take. It may seem overwhelming at times. I suggest the patient take a step back and look at all the options that are presented, then, pray. God is not deaf nor blind, nor is he lacking knowledge. He knows the exact right treatment for each situation. He promises to "direct our paths" when we trust Him with our hearts and minds.

Today, are you struggling? Do you have decisions to make? Are you feeling anxious about which way to go? There's good news for you. There's actually a way to have peace in your soul.

First, set your heart on the Lord. Take your thoughts and center them on God's word. Look at the words at the top of this devotional. Read the words, and let them become words from God to you. Make these words first person, "I trust in the Lord with all my heart. I don't lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge him and He directs my path."

As you center your heart and mind on God's word, and on God Himself, you will experience more and more of His peace. As His peace fills you, you'll become confident in your decisions. It may take a while to know what to do as you look at your options, but on this path with God, you'll come to know Him in a deeper way.

Trusting in the Lord, leaning on His word, and following the peace within are all ingredients for God-directed decision making. So, making a decision? Apply Proverbs 3:5-6. Shalom.

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