Jen’s Gem: Wait for God’s best.
Every day we make decisions. Some studies claim that the average adult makes about 35,000 conscious decisions every day, and of those 35,000, nearly 300 are regarding food, according to a Cornell University Study. In an eighteen-hour day, we’re making nearly 2,000 decisions per hour. No wonder we’re so tired!
Decision-making can be simple, such as choosing steak or fish for dinner. I suspect many of those 35,000 decisions we make each day fall into this category. The more complex decisions are really problem-solving, where we have to analyze two or more courses of actions and select the best path.
There are dozens of strategies about how to make good decisions. Perhaps you are a pro’s vs con’s decision maker, where you list out the positive and negative consequences. You may be a “fly by the seat of your pants” decision maker, simply seeing how you feel in the moment. Or, you may be a consultative decision maker, wanting to talk to people you know and trust to get their insights.
My preferred approach is to consult with people who are smarter than me or have gone through a similar experience. This was especially true when I was raising my children. I had a group of mom peeps that I could tap into for everything from potty training to more recently, the college admission process.
Most of the time, I am not a fly by the seat of your pants decision maker. I don’t toss coins in the air to determine my decisions, whether they be as simple as what to eat for breakfast or whether to sell my house. I consider all of my options, I outline the pro’s and con’s, pray about the decision, and then I wait…sometimes.
Sometimes, my impatience gets the best of me and I go with what I think is the best choice. This approach has had both negative and positive consequences. However, in order to avoid analysis paralysis, at times, we do have to step out in faith if we have peace about our decisions.
A few years ago, I decided to quit a well-paying job. This was a life-changing decision for me and my children. Despite the insanity of this action, I had peace about it. I recall vividly walking through my home turning this decision over in my head and asking God for an answer. While I did not hear a “Sure Jen, quit that job that is threatening your mental and physical health,” I had peace in my heart about it. Days later, I still had peace.
Today, despite the financial strain leaving that job has placed on me and my family, I still feel it was the right decision.
After Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus, the remaining eleven apostles were faced with finding his replacement. They fasted and prayed about it. They declared that God, who was all-knowing, would guide them in the right choice. But, when that answer didn’t come fast enough, they did what a lot of us do when our impatience gets the best of us.
They tossed a coin.
Well, in those days it was called casting lots, but the premise is the same. They had two choices: Matthias and Justis. The lot fell to Matthias, which meant he got the coveted job. He would be the one to accompany the apostles as they did what Jesus had commanded them to do, spread the good news, the Gospel, to the entire world.
This is an important job, yes? Matthias, along with the other eleven men, should be mentioned like a billion times in the New Testament, yes? Other than the verse below, Matthias is never mentioned again.
Why? They picked the wrong guy.
“And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1: 23-26)
The apostles didn’t wait to hear God’s choice for apostle #12. They took matters into their own hands. Many Bible scholars believe that Paul was supposed to be the twelfth apostle. This makes perfect sense as Paul was pretty amazing. He wrote nearly all of the New Testament and he did some great things. Matthias? Not sure. But since we don’t hear of him again, it’s highly unlikely.
It’s hard to wait on God. His timing is not our timing. We want immediate answers. We want to Google God and have His best choice show up in our search results. Spoiler. Not gonna happen.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to put your big decisions before God. Ask Him to guide your response. I can guarantee you that if you are willing to wait, you will hear from Him and when you do, you won’t get a Matthias. You’ll get a Paul.
Your Paul is worth the wait.