This weekend I had the opportunity to serve at Senior Winter Camp. I have never been to Senior Winter Camp before so I didn’t really know what to expect but God definitely spoke to my heart! Jesse Gentile spoke about the power of our choices and we went over different people in the Bible that had a decision to make and how those choices affected them (positively or negatively). For example, Ruth was given the choice to go back to her people after her husband died or to go with Naomi… she chose to go with Naomi even though it was out of her comfort zone to leave her people and her gods to follow the God of the Bible. The short term consequences may have been uncomfortable but she followed God and God provided for both her and Naomi through Boaz. She even became a part of the lineage of Christ! We also talked about David and his choice to take Bathsheba…his first choice was to stay home from war during a time when Kings usually went to Battle… he then made the choice to go up to the roof (probably with the knowledge that he may see something)…once he saw Bethsheba he wanted her and secretly had her brought to him so he could fulfill an unrighteous desire. Once he found out she was pregnant he made the choice to have Bethsheba’s husband Uriah put on the front lines of war so he would be killed in battle… Jesse made a point to let us know that whenever Bethsheba is mentioned in the Bible it is noted that she is the Wife of Uriah. Even though David repented of his sins and the choices he made he still had to deal with the consequences of his choices. God forgave him and he was still noted as being a man after God’s heart but his choices affected his life and caused a lot of unnecessary heartache.
I was talking to the girls in my cabin and I shared with them that I remember hearing people make the excuse that “it just happened”. This phrase likes to remove our own responsibility but in reality there are always choices that lead up to our decisions. Whatever choices we face in our lives, we must be weighing the consequences. In the examples above we saw that the choices that had difficult short term consequences usually had positive long term outcomes and vice versa.
I think a lot of Christians don’t emphasize the importance of our choices. We are often told, “Don’t do this” or “Don’t do that” but teaching us to think critically about how these choices will affect us is not talked about regularly. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You”. I have found that the most effective way to make good choices is to memorize Scripture that deals with our struggles. When we hide God’s Word in our hearts, the Holy Spirit brings those verses to mind when we need them most.
I recently met an amazing man of God who is pursuing me and has asked me to be his girlfriend. I chose to say yes. I have been praying for a man like Tony to come into my life for a very long time and the more I get to know him the more I see God’s hand in bringing us together in His timing. I am new to the whole “relationship thing”. I have never really had a boyfriend before and I am excited that we have both chosen to do this God’s way. While sometimes change is scary (I have been single for 26 1/2 years) I have made the choice to see what God has in store for our future. I have said before that I don’t date for fun. I date with a purpose. I was “stubbornly waiting for suddenly” and then one day I met Tony. He walked into my life and pursued me in a way that I always prayed for. We have the same heart and same passion for people and drawing them to God. I stand amazed that God is giving me the desires of my heart… I have seen God answer prayers over and over in my life and yet I am just so blessed and encouraged by this man of God who sees my heart and wants to pursue it. I have been the recipient of many tidbits of “why you’re single” advice- I’m not godly enough or I’m not ready… the truth is we are never godly enough and never ready but God still chooses to bless us in His timing… yes HIS timing. Being single was a daily battle for me, I had to choose to trust God with my future and believe that He is in control. I had to choose not to be bitter when one more person got engaged or married. Sometimes I poured out my heart to God and told Him how I really felt… sometimes I would simply sing “I cast all my cares upon You”. God hears our prayers, I am a living testimony of that. I don’t know what the future holds but I do know that we are making the choice to honor God in this relationship.