by: Chrissy Muhr
Over and over I’ve come to places of decision.
I was four years old, walking behind my dad towards my parents’ room, wondering if I might be able to blame my brothers for whatever I’d done. The scene is clear: sunlight slanting through the curtains, a hard chair, his face fixed with the seriousness of the moment. “Do you know who Jesus is?” my dad asked. “That he loves you? That he wants to be a part of your life?” Relief. I’d been to Sunday school; I knew the answers to these questions. What I hadn’t realized was that it wasn’t enough to have answers. I had to respond. So that day, with my dad’s help, I asked Jesus into my heart.
I sat on the edge of my chair, head in hands, eyes closed, heart beating, trying to reason away the conviction that I should stand and speak. I told the Spirit that I would speak, just not yet. But always, the end of open worship would come too soon. God expected too much. He was going to have to stop trying to use me. I just. Couldn’t. Do it. I journaled my arguments. Surely God would stop asking the impossible of me. But the conviction wouldn’t go away. I could choose obedience, or I could go my own way. But I couldn’t imagine a life without God. So the next time the Spirit moved me to speak, I remembered God’s goodness and love. And I spoke.
We met for quiche and coffee at the kind of place where – in spite of the noise – all your conversations feel private. We’d known each other for years, a knowing that was skin and mind deep but lacked the soul of full vulnerability. God knew my sins, but I needed something more – an ear for confession, a voice of accountability, eyes that reflected God’s love for me even after hearing my deepest secrets. Fear of rejection kept me silent. But God saw my intent to obey. He opened the door. Confession flowed, relationship deepened, and now I know her soul as well as she knows mine.
Broken. Everything I’d dreamed of – the future I’d envisioned – all of it ruined. I sat on the floor in that airport, crying and lonely in a crowd of strangers. And I was mad. Hadn’t I been obedient to the light I had? What had I done wrong? Why was this happening to me? God didn’t answer. Instead, he turned my eyes away from myself – my plans, my hurt – and helped me to see his goodness, his trustworthiness, his faithfulness. If I really believed that God was good, then I had to decide to act on that belief. I had to stop blaming. God’s love had not failed me; I just couldn’t see it yet.
Over and over I’ve come to places of decision. Places where it wasn’t enough to know right, to believe truth. I had to act.
Over and over I’ve come to places in which my heavenly father has called to me, and the only right decision has been to answer his call.
Over and over I’ve come to places where I had to choose God. And every time I’ve come to such a place, God has been there with me. Waiting.