ODJ: what if?

February 28, 2015 

READ: Romans 8:18-28 

God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (v.28).

In a recent email, a woman named Renee told me how she and her husband had unsuccessfully spent years trying to start a family. After numerous rounds of in vitro fertilisation treatment and several years waiting to adopt, they were exhausted from the ordeal and considering bringing the journey to an end. Knowing that my wife and I had walked a similar path, Renee asked a question. “How do you give up on a dream of parenthood without regretting what might have been?”

As I started to share some advice, I realised something else was lurking behind Renee’s question. I told her that her fear could be summed up this way: “If we make the wrong decision, will our lives be ruined?”

I think that’s what we all fear when making a major life decision. We give way to worry, and ‘what if’ questions haunt us: “What if a call from the adoption agency was only another day away?” “What if another potential spouse never comes along?” “What if I choose the wrong career?” We fear our lives will be ruined if we don’t make the perfect decision.

I shared with Renee the liberating news that the answer to her fearful questions was a resounding “No!” If we head in the wrong direction, God can still turn us around (Proverbs 3:5-6). If the dream dies before God chooses to act, He can resurrect it (John 11:23-44). Paul says that in this imperfect world “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God” (Romans 8:28; see also vv.18-23). If we love Him, He can make even a poor decision fit into the tapestry of our lives.

“Your life will not be over if you choose to end your search for a family,” I told Renee. “Trust Him to take you somewhere new; whatever you decide.”

—Sheridan Voysey

365-day plan› Joshua 2:1-24

Read James 1:5 to see God’s promise of wisdom, Philippians 4:6-7 to learn about God’s peace and Proverbs 11:14 to understand the need to consult others. 
How do you make decisions? How can you trust God even when things don’t go according to your plans? 
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