Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Right or Redeemed?

Tonight I realized that many major decisions in my life that I thought were completely right might not have been right after all.

Lost in thought today, I contemplated a major decision I made last August involving the sale our minivan and the purchase of a new one.  At the time, I looked at the many positive events surrounding the purchase - the location, description, and price of the new vehicle, and the interest of a friend in purchasing our old one - and used those events as justification that my decision was "right". 

But tonight, while driving in my new van and lamenting that I didn't wait an extra few months to purchase a van that may have better met our needs, I began to question the rightness of my decision.

I realized that I used the seemingly positive circumstances surrounding the purchase to convince myself that I was on the right path.  What if, instead of signs of MY right decision, those circumstances were actually GOD working my poor decision into something good.  What if the decision wasn't right, but instead redeemed?

God is in the business of redeeming - receiving the wrong and making it right.

Take Israel for example.  They wanted a king to rule them so they could be strong like all the other nations.  He warned them of all the negative consequences of having a king and yet they persisted in demanding one.  So God led Samuel the Prophet to select Saul as the first king of Israel.  The circumstances looked good - a strong, tall, capable man, in just the right place at the right time.  Requesting a king had not suddenly become right, instead, God was being gracious to Israel.  He was working the circumstances for their good, despite their wrong pursuit.  When Saul disqualified himself, God didn't back up and remove the monarchy, but instead provided a new king, David, a man after God's own heart.  And when David died, God chose Solomon to reign as the wisest man ever.

But God didn't just take the choice of demanding a king and turn it to good by providing quality kings.  God used the office of king to foreshadow and prepare the nation for the coming true King in Jesus Christ.  God redeemed the wrong choice of wanting a king by using that path to bring about the true King.  And that King, Jesus Christ, redeemed us all, bringing us from spiritual and eternal death to life through his death on the cross.

It seems I behaved a bit like Israel last August.  I wanted a van, and I wanted it right away.  I did care about what God wanted to provide, but the urgency I felt outweighed the counsel of God.  In hindsight, our purchase was probably a foolish choice.  But yet, thanks to God, our situation ended up good.  In my urgency I could have ended up in a big mess, but God, knowing I am but dust, provided a good vehicle, at a good price, in the right place.  My choice wasn't right, but God's redeeming it made it work.

What is humbling for me is realizing that the seemingly positive circumstances and outcome are not guaranteed proof of the rightness of my choice.  Instead, I am now convinced that the good things that did happen occurred through the redeeming power of God.

I am overwhelmed tonight thinking about a multitude of times in my life when I was sure I was making the right choice when in fact God was simply redeeming my foolish choice.  That is amazing grace.

I am humbled.  I am thankful.  It gives my heart peace to be reminded that acts of faith and acts of foolishness can both be worked for our good. (Romans 8:28)

Lord as I end my day, forgive me for the foolish choices I have made, both choices made knowingly and choices made in simple human ignorance.  Lord thank you for your redeeming power.  I pray that you take each step of mine, steps of faith and steps of foolishness, and redeem them to your glory.  And Lord, keep me humble.  Continue to gentle remind me that apart from you I can do nothing. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Anissa! So glad you will be able to visit The Glen! The white rose picture is from Lia's rose...
    Love, Monica