Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.~Psalm 119:105 NLT
In the Fall of 1980, I was living in Bangor, Maine, at Faith School of Theology, and working on my Ministry degree.
The college was located in a rural area. Their tuition was affordable, and an unusual bonus I had privy to was their vegetable garden, livestock, and firewood supply, which helped supplement student tuition.
I grew up outside Washington, DC in the suburbs, and even though I did not grow up in the city, I did have the benefits of city life. Consequentially, I experienced culture shock when I attended the large seminary school in Bangor, Maine. I felt it was more than I could handle, and I determined to pack my bags and return home.
The night before I was scheduled to leave, I attended the evening church service. During the prayer time, a student whom I did not know told me the Lord had a message for me. He told me to stay and not give up on my education. I thought about his advice all night, but I had already made my choice, so when the first rays of sun filtered through my dorm room window, I started home. My family was living in Virginia at that time, so I went there.
I wish I could tell you I made the right choice, but the months ahead told a different story. I lost the joy in my life, and guilt knocked on the door of my subconscious. My soul was burdened about my decision to leave school. My walk with the Lord felt anchored to this guilt and regret.
Years passed, and I continued to I drag those heavy chains of guilt around me with every breath I took. Sometimes I felt despair. Proverbs 3:5-6 says’s “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding seek His Will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
What choices have you made, and how did those choices turnout? Did you make the decisions based on God’s Holy Word, or did you make them on how you felt? I know this is a time when I did the latter.
Friend, just like I experienced from making a mistake, we learn that our choices result in either leading or diverting us from God’s plan for our lives, so we need to weigh them carefully. In Proverbs, we read, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV).
The choice I made in the Fall of 1980 diverted me from God. But by God’s grace, mercy, and direction I reversed the unwise choice and pursued seminary school at a later date. I felt like Jonah who also resisted God’s direction for his life. Even though I was not physically in the big fish’s belly, spiritually I was. So I went back to school, and in 2009 I received my degree in Biblical Studies and was ordained.
Isaiah records the comfort we receive as we reverse course, “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD … For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody” (Isaiah 51:1, 3 NKJV).
Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD … For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.~Isaiah 51:1, 3 NKJV
Most of the choices we come to regret can be reversed. We don’t have to define our lives by them, and even if it is a situation we cannot change, we can always receive the Lord’s forgiveness. When I surrendered to God’s will, He was eager to help me turn my educational situation around, and this changed my destiny. What’s more, He forgave me the moment I called to Him. God is willing to do the same for you, friend, as you surrender to God and let Him guide you. Nothing is impossible with the God who loves us. Please know He forgives you just as He forgave me. He is willing guide you and I every step of the way.
Share how God helped you regarding a life choice.
Heavenly Father, Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Restore joy to my life as You have promised. Accept my offering of praise and help me to follow Your direction.
In Jesus’ name. Amen
Copyright 2020: Choices and Destiny: Ed Chappelle: All Rights Reserved