It is always humbling, and often embarrassing, to have to admit when I don’t have life “all figured out.” I realize that no one, indeed, has all the answers, but sometimes I feel like I struggle with elementary issues that others easily push aside. Today, though, I am refusing to compare myself to anyone. My Creator will never ask me to measure up to anyone but The Son of Man; Jesus Christ. So today, I am not going to feel insecure about my struggles, I am not going to feel weak about my personal iniquities. Instead, I am going to deal with my thoughts and emotions, and come to solid terms with an inner demon who has outstayed a visit. I am tired of wrestling with indecision, and it’s high time I do what the Word tells me to do, and become bold as a lion. For Proverbs 28:1 says, The wicked man flees, though no one is pursuing while the righteous are as bold as a lion. I want to be counted as righteous, so I will have to take some bold measures to get there.
My struggle today is with second guessing my decisions. I have often battled with thoughts of, “What if the other option is better?” Or, “How do I know this is the best choice?” And, “If I stay, I will get x, y, and z. Why would I leave that?” In the past 2 weeks, I have literally learned one of the most valuable lessons thus far: when you follow the Lord, distractions will abound. A lot of those distractions are going to appear more appealing than the Lord’s attractions, which is why it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. Let me paint a picture for you:
I prayed for a job at a private/Christian school 2 years ago. Disenchanted by the public school system (but still admiring the students in the public schools) I felt a pull on my heart to be in a more intimate, structured setting. In short, I wanted to teach in a school like the ones I was taught in: small, private, secure. I wanted to be a teacher with a name, and to know the names of the teachers I worked with. I wanted students whose parents actually cared about their education and wanted them to succeed. I was desperate for parents who contacted me, instead of parents who avoided my contact. I wanted a change of pace.
Upon moving to Atlanta, I though it would be the perfect time to transition into that setting; I thought God would give me the desires of my heart because I was faithful to Him by moving in the first place. Instead, I spent 4 months unemployed and ended up getting hired into a school that was the exact opposite of what I had prayed for: huge student body, public school system, no diversity, little security. As you know, I harbored thoughts of quitting, but I knew in my heart I was exactly where God wanted me, so I stuck it out.
At the start of 2010, I decided to place my resume out in the private school sector, to see if I received any nibbles. I didn’t expect much to happen, and I was content (though slightly saddened) with the thought that I might have to stay at the same school for another year (or 20, if God so chose). Over the course of a month, I interviewed with a Christian school, the entire time being patient and trusting God for His will. Last week, I was hired. This school fits every prayer request and qualification I have, and the job is a promotion (which is more than what I asked for, or thought I deserved). God showed me unmerited favor by selecting me for this position, and I rejoiced when I found out the news.
However, the second I received a glimpse of God’s plan for my life, the enemy stepped in and began to whisper ungodly thoughts and ideas into my head. “This can’t be real! This is too good to be true. You don’t deserve this and God is going to snatch it all away from you. This is a set-up and God won’t follow through.” Whoa dude! Where did that come from? I don’t believe that I serve that kind of God; I don’t believe that God would do that. And, even if this job was/is taken away from me, do I serve the job, or do I serve God? Is not God my portion, not a job offer? Proverbs 10:22 says: The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it. Though I believe these statements in my spirit, my flesh is at war with the lies of the enemy. To top it off, as I turned in my leave notice this morning, my department head told me that he scheduled me for 5 sections of 10th grade honors next year, which means that I would be teaching all honors classes, and a lot of the same students from this year (which might alleviate some discipline issues). How funny that as soon as I make plans to follow the lead of God, I see an opportunity to stay back and follow some other plan. Then I consider that perhaps this is a sign, perhaps I should stay at my current job because this new assignment sounds like a blessing as well.
I have a check in my spirit today as I remember a devotional I read a week ago. It was about being double minded, and how that is sinful and not of God. So today, I am reminded that I cannot second guess myself. I cannot question whether or not I have made the right decision simply because a shiny distraction has come along. I have to go with my spirit, and The Spirit, and trust that though staying here next year might sound appealing, the MOST appealing thought is that I follow God. I can’t waver about what I think God is asking me to do. I can’t question whether or not I was wrong about the decision. I have to stand firm. I have to be a bold as a lion. I have to pursue God and God’s will, and leave the rest of it behind. How do I know the new job is of God? Too many doors were opened for me that should have been dead-bolted shut. Too much favor was shown on me when none of it was deserved. Too many arrows are pointing in that direction, when only one is pointing in the other. It simply feels right in my spirit, and I don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t take the new job. To the best of my knowledge, I think it’s God’s will that go.
I was not created to understand everything. I doubt my human mind could understand why these 2 great options were presented to me at the same time, when last year I was struggling to find one job. I really and truly might be making a big mistake (I doubt it, though). If I am, though, isn’t my God big enough to catch me and protect me? Isn’t my God strong enough to restore me? Isn’t my God gracious enough to forgive? Isn’t my God enough?
57 You are my portion, O LORD;
I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.