This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday– write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “guide.”
It was starting to get frustrating. For months I had been considering the decision of what I should do next. I had looked at different options, I had discussed it with others, and I had prayed a lot- I had probably prayed more about this decision than any I had ever made before- and yet I still had no clarity at all about the way ahead.
Why wasn’t God guiding me? I really wanted to do his will and I was genuinely open to whatever that might be, but no matter how much I prayed, no answer came.
Soon I would have to decide one way or the other, but fear of making the wrong decision paralysed me. How was I meant to choose if God wouldn’t tell me? It all seemed so simple for people in the Bible- a pillar of cloud or fire to lead the way, angels appearing with messages, prophets with unambiguous instructions from God. They knew exactly what God wanted them to do. I longed for him to guide me, but all I heard was silence.
I was starting to despair, thinking that maybe God didn’t have a plan for me at all, but then I read an article that changed my perspective.
It talked about how we already know 95% of what God wants. It’s easy to think the choices that matter are about where we should live or what job we should be doing, and to focus on our external circumstances. But while those are important and we should be seeking God’s will for them, it challenged me that the choices that are really important are the internal ones- the choice to love, to show kindness, to seek God, to bless others- that what God is most concerned with is our character.
It encouraged me that if I was truly seeking God and focussing on what I did know of his will, he would show me the way. And it freed me to make the choice. Wherever I went, I could work on developing a godly character.
So I prayed, and I chose. I still had no certainty about whether it was the right decision, but I stepped out, asking God to show me if I was wrong.
Obviously I have no idea what would have happened if I had made either of the other two choices I considered, but I do know the decision I made led to one of the hardest years of my life, but also to one of the most intense periods of growth I have ever experienced that made every one of the challenges absolutely worth it.
There may not have been an angel or a pillar in the sky but, looking back, it seems God was guiding me, even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time.
“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”” (Psalm 32:8 NLT)