Jenny sunk deeply into the overstuffed chair she was sitting in. The soft green suede seemed to swallow her and absorb the tension she felt. She had a serious decision to make. God had afforded her two different opportunities to further her research in soil science …to travel to either New Zealand or Australia.
This, of course, was a wonderful problem to have. She often had very little choice at all, but simply went wherever her parent company told her she must. They were, after all, the ones providing the funding for her research.
Jenny had often wondered how her field would be used by God to reach out to others and carry out the Great Commission; something she was passionate about. She frequently questioned why God hadn’t called her to be a missionary or full time disciple in some capacity. But she had finally resolved that perhaps God could use her within her own field to share her testimony of what God had done in her life.
She had been relatively few places outside North America in her career, thus far, and the anticipation of her first really big expedition was almost more than she could take. Now on top of all that, she actually had some say in where she went.
Jenny wanted to get this right. To go where God wanted her to go, and not just where she thought she would benefit most in her research. Jenny also had one other problem in making this decision: Jenny was terrified of snakes and spiders! She knew full well that Australia had poisonous versions of both, while New Zealand did not. She also knew that in times past when she had had trouble discerning God’s plan for her, she had often chosen the harder or more daunting of the two, so that God could be glorified for leading her through it. Did that mean she had to go and face her fear of arachnids and serpents? Did God always require her to stretch the limits of her trust in Him? How she wanted insight, how she wanted to get this right. Oh, how she wanted to be sure she was following God’s path and not her own.
As Jenny prayed, she was becoming more and more anxious. Why couldn’t she discern God’s voice, why wasn’t he telling her what to do? She couldn’t even feel a gentle nudge in one direction or another. Nothing! Finally, still slumped in the soft chair, Jenny poured out her frustration and begged the Lord to make it clear to her. To speak to her in a new and fresh way. To make it so obvious there was no way she could get it wrong.
Jenny was snapped back to reality from her contemplation in the comfy recliner in which she had been meditating in. Her mom, whom she was visiting, called her into the kitchen. “Sandwiches are ready, Jen”
She sat and the table and began eating and talking with her mom, hopeful her mom could shed some light on what she might do. Her mom had prepared her favorite, BLTs. She always felt better when she was home, visiting the farm home where she had grown up.
“Mom, this bacon tastes different. Is it from one of the hogs you butchered last year? Did you switch butcher shops?”
“No, honey, you’re not going to believe this. We actually ran out of our own bacon. For the first time in ten years I actually had to buy bacon, can you believe that?” Her mom laughed at the irony of it all. Her eyes sparkled as they always did, for her mom was a woman who lived in the company of joy no matter what her circumstances. How, she wanted to learn contentment in the way her mom lived it!
“Well, it’s not bad for store bought, I guess. What kind is it, anyway?” Jenny asked, relieved to be thinking about something other than the decision that she faced. The deadline was in three days and the tension of her indecision felt colossal.
“Oh, it was a new brand. They were running a special to promote it. It’s called Kiwi bacon. Funny name isn’t it?”
Jenny laughed, quietly at first and then uncontrollably and enthusiastically as she began to appreciate God’s timing and humor. “No, mom, not bad at all. In fact, it just might be the best BLT I have ever tasted!”
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