Faced With a Choice
© Mary Elder-Criss
Choices. We all have them. Every day we make them. Sometimes we make wise choices, other times we donít. Occasionally, choices come easily, while at other times, they require much prayer. Some choices just seem to be harder than others.
Take my decision making process when I am shopping for a gift, for instance. My family has learned to let me do this task alone by now. They canít handle it. I sheepishly have to admit, I drive people crazy. Usually having a limited budget with which to work, I am extremely selective in gift purchasing. I am also extremely indecisive. Fear that someone will not like the gift I am giving, as well as worrying whether it is appropriate, or if it seems rather cheap, will drive me into such a frazzled state of mind, that I am often to the point of tears. Faced with too many choices, I can turn what should be a simple twenty minute shopping trip into an all day shopping nightmare.
Many choices we are faced with on a daily basis wonít affect anyone but ourselves, but other choices can seem to have a boomerang effect. For instance, what you wear to work today most likely wonít influence anyone, one way or another, unless of course you happen to choose a neon orange outfit, with bright purple accessories, in which case, someoneís retinas may incur severe damage.
On the flip side, how you choose to react when faced with problems during your work day; when your boss expects you to complete a project in an impossible time period, when the copier breaks down, when the office gossip seems to spend a lot of time glancing your way and whispering, when you have a flat tire on the way home, and then get stuck in traffic, how you choose to react to these and other things can affect others.
Every day, whether we feel like it or not, whether circumstances warrant it or not, we have one very important choice to make. The choice to rejoice.
Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. When things seem impossible to rejoice in, do it anyway. When adversity comes against us, and we feel like giving up, Rejoice.
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.
Even though we may currently be undergoing tribulation, the Lord has promised that He will never give us more than we can bear, where He will not make a way for us to escape. (1 Cor. 10:13) Isnít that enough of a promise that we should be able to walk in Joy? Godís promises are true, and He has given us many of them that testify of His desire to work good in our lives.
Recently, God laid this verse upon my heart as one to hold onto, while undergoing tribulations. ďFor I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ď Jeremiah 29:11.
When tempted to frown and cry over lifeís problems, and setbacks, we have the choice of hope. When our boss expects too much, and our car is on its last legs, and people donít appreciate our efforts, we have the choice of endurance in His promises. When trials and tribulations seem to keep mounting up, and we feel like giving up, we have the choice of rejoicing, regardless.
Remember that many people watch you. You are the only Jesus that some people ever see. The choices that you make each day may indeed affect someone elseís most important choice.
I doubt very seriously if we will win anyone to Christ by walking around looking as if we had just sucked a lemon, with a face that resembles a bloodhounds. Not many people are going to want to choose Christ, and a Christian lifestyle, if all we have to show for being a Christian is a prunish face. However, making the choice to rejoice, even when life deals us some hard blows, and reacting to them in a manner which shows the world that we are His, and are aware of His promises will influence a lot of people for good.
I suppose the best compliment I ever received was a card one time that simply said, on the outside, ďGodís beauty shines through your smile.Ē Inside were these words, ďYou are a beautiful reflection of Godís love to me.Ē
My sister recently told me while she was undergoing some serious tribulations and trials that the best way she knew how to deal with them was to take one day at a time, and to wring as much joy out of it as she could. Holding on to the good things, the promises of Christ, and focusing on them each day is the way to face life. Today, when faced with a choice, choose to be a reflection of Godís love. Choose to rejoice during trials and tribulations, and remember that nothing we face is out of His control.
Today, make the choice to rejoice. Choose to let people see Jesus when they look in your face.
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