(Image courtesy of http://harveymackay.com.)

Life is full of decisions.  But which decisions we choose can have drastic impact in our lives.

Right now, I am faced with many life-altering decisions.  I have had several interviews with different schools in Wisconsin and Illinois.  At the same time, I am still employed with another school district in Tennessee.  So what am I doing?  In short, I want to see if God will direct my life back toward my home state of Wisconsin.  Yet, if He does not, I will
be content and happy to be where I am currently.  Finding the will of God in all of this is certainly the biggest stressor in my life right now, however.

But through it all, God has taught me an invaluable lesson: Trust.  It is a lesson that has taken my many years to learn, and I'm not sure if I'd pass the test today.

When I moved to Tennessee two years ago, I didn't know a single person.  I cried a handful of nights because I missed home, not to mention I couldn't understand the way people talked in the south.  Through it all, God gave me a couple verses that were (are) instrumental and peace-giving in my life's most trying times: "Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).  The verse meant so much to me that I wrote it on a piece of cardboard with Crayola marker and hung it on my wall.  It has been the centerpiece on my wall ever since.

Finding the will of God is difficult to do it seems.  Yet it is so simple and easy - perhaps that's why it is so difficult for us to find.  Proverbs says to trust and not to try to understand.  But oh! how hard it is for us to do this!  We want to know!  I want to know!  I want to know where I should go, who I should be with - before the time for decision even comes.  I want my life to be planned.

When I was in fourth grade, I liked a girl named Heather.  She liked me too, so we decided to plan out our lives together.  We had the plans made for our house, a whole blueprint.  We had each of our seventeen kids' names picked out.  We had it all.  But after a short time (by the end of recess) we had gone our separate ways.

One of my good friends, Adam Miller, told me once: "If you wanna make God laugh, tell Him your plans."  How true that statement is!

In closing, God has taught me through a number of events in my life what it means to have assurance of trust in Him, as Proverbs' writes.  The reason we do not trust God with our life is that we do not truly trust Him!  But He is more than trustworthy!  I now have assurance of His trustworthiness.  Here are three ways God has replaced worry with trust in my life - and all reasons come from His Word:

1. Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."  I used to pray that God would show me His future plans for my life.  He never did.  Instead, God showed me through His Word that He already has my good works planned for me since the beginning of time.  Now, my prayer has changed to this: "Lord, open my eyes to see the good works You have for me to do."  God says, "Concentrate on the here-and-now, not on the there-and-far."  When we believe that He has good works planned for us, then worry will be replaced with trust.

2. Romans 12:2 "... be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."  In order to transfer from worry to trust (which gives birth to peace), we must have our mind transformed by the Holy Spirit.  Then we will be able to discern what direction God wants to take us when the time comes.  This is a key distinction, though: "when the time comes."  Here is an example, found in Genesis 22.  God told Abraham to take his only son, Isaac, and walk up on a mountain and kill him.  Abraham didn't question: he trusted.  He didn't seek to know the future, he just trusted and obeyed.  Not until Abraham had Isaac tied to the altar and the knife raised above his head did God finally show him what His plan was.  God wanted to test Abraham's obedience, and after he proved faithful, he gave Abraham a ram to sacrifice in Isaac's place, and also blessed Abraham beyond measure!  Instead of seeking to know the future, God says, "Trust me!  I'm already in the future!  Just trust Me and honor Me in every decision.  And when the time comes to make life-altering decisions, I will be there to direct you."  When we finally stop seeking the future and start seeking the Lord, we will have peace in our lives.

3. Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."  There is such assurance in this verse!  God created us.  Therefore, He knows what "makes us tick" and what interests us.  And His plans are to give us these desires, but only when our desires are to delight in Him!  The second part of this verse has no truth unless we follow the first: "I will give you the desires of your heart AFTER you delight yourself in Me," God says.  After we delight ourselves in the Lord, we will then know the "good works" He has in store for us, which are ultimately to share His Son with everyone we meet.  When we delight ourselves in the Lord, we have no time to worry about the future and make plans about where we will go and what we will do when we get there.  (In addition, we are not even guaranteed the next minute!  So why plan our life's greatest decisions when we may not be here to decide them?)

All in all, God desires that we desire Him.  Once we do that, He will bless us richly with peace and joy.  God loves His children.  He will never leave us high and dry.  He will always come through in our hour of decision.  Trust Him.  I have to constantly give my worries of the future to Him and replace the worry with the assurance of His trustworthy character.  When I do, I am blessed "beyond the normal."

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

"Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

"And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference" (Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken").