Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.
Thoughts for Today:Wouldn't that be nice, something so dramatic happens that everyone's chains are loosed? All of a sudden "Boom" the restrictions that have been artificially handcuffing a decision you need to make are suddenly gone -- how would that change your stress level?
I have, right now, a very difficult decision to make, one that will have far reaching consequences for not only my family, career, and business, but will also affect the families of employees who have worked for me for years. It is a very complex problem; one that I have been wrestling with for months; and unfortunately (as far as I can tell) the Lord has been silent on this issue despite a considerable amount of prayer, study, meditation, and discussion with fellow Christians. It's almost like the Lord has left this one completely up to me. As a businessman, I am in the business of making decisions and I know the Lord has created me uniquely for this set of circumstances while preparing me with just the right combination of experience, foresight, skill, etc to make the right decision. After all if God wanted to make all the decisions for us, He would have turned us into robots when we became Christians -- right? However, knowing God isn't going to make this decision for me doesn't make it any easier.
There are a lot of thoughts wreaking havoc in my mind and two of the biggest are these: first, I don't want to make a mistake by moving too quickly (certainly God can turn anything to good for those who love Him, but let's be honest some decisions are just better than others and I want to make the best decision). And second, some connected issues need to be resolved before I can make the final decision. It is the waiting on those issues that has caused the majority of my stress. To be honest, I really want to make a decision right now, then go on with life and deal with the consequences.
Clearly that is not God's plan. I am still imprisoned just like Paul and Silas were -- until the earthquake set them free -- then and only then (after the doors flew open and the chains fell off) were they able to make their final decision about what to do next -- flee the country, stay in prison, or go immediately back to public speaking. I am still waiting for my chains to be loosed so I can make my next decision as well. I know the Lord will not make that decision for me so I won't be waiting for a lightning bolt or a burning bush to show me the way once it happens. I just know I need to stay close to the Lord in prayer, study, meditation and worship (just like Paul and Silas), so when my chains are finally loosed I will make the decision the Lord prepared me to make. Does that make any sense to you? The Lord won't give me the answer (or make the decision for me), but it is my relationship and proximity to the Lord that will allow me to do His will.
Questions to Ponder:Do you have a problem or a decision to make that is keeping you up at night? Has the Lord not given you an answer? Have you considered He might leave this one up to you? To make the "right" decision you must draw nearer to the Lord so His will becomes your will. Under stress do you draw nearer to Him or push away? What is your proximity to the Lord right now? The one thing you can do every day to prepare yourself for problems like this is to stay close to the Lord -- in good times and in difficult times.