Speaking at women’s retreats gives me many opportunities to hear heart-breaking stories. Some gals tell me about being abandoned by their husbands. Some admit, with great remorse, to having an affair or choosing to abort their child. Some have suffered physical or sexual abuse. There’s no end to the list of hurts they suffer.
Sometimes these hurts stem from someone else’s issue. Sometimes they’re the direct result of decisions they’ve made. Sadly, some women blame God for their pain rather than taking responsibility for it. Their circumstances cave in, and then they wonder why.
God’s word tells us that we have a choice about how to do life. We can either play by His rules (designed to protect us), or we can make up our own. Trouble is, apart from God’s input, our thoughts about how to do life often get us into trouble. Psalm 81:11,12 says, “My people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas.”
Let’s face it—we humans aren’t so smart sometimes. We think we know what’s best for us, but in reality we don’t. Here are some examples:
- We feel attracted toward someone other than our husband, and we end up in an affair thinking it will satisfy our emotional needs. Bad idea.
- We think we need a bigger house or a nicer car when in reality, smaller or older will suffice. Uncontrolled or unwise spending usually results in financial bondage. Bad move.
- We think we’re too busy to spend time in God’s word on a regular basis. That means we rely on our own strength and wisdom rather than His. Bad idea.
God gives us the freedom to choose how we want to live. We can either follow our own ideas as the Israelites did and pay the consequences, or we can do life His way. Personally, I believe His way is much, much smarter. It’s also filled with blessings.
“Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things,” He says. “I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock” (Psalm 81:10,16). Which would we rather do–experience God’s presence and blessings for following His ways, or suffer for following ours? The choice is up to us. Let’s be smart about it.
“God, forgive us for thinking our ideas are better than Yours. Grant us humility to embrace Your ways as right and good. Make us wise as we travel this journey between here and heaven. In Jesus’ name, amen.”