Today I was faced with what can not be described any other way than as a catastrophe. It involves a decision that will shape the next year (minimum) of my life. I don’t want to spill any details simply because of the logistics of the issue, but I can say without a doubt that it is the most difficult personal moral situation I have ever encountered. Some of you have experienced this, I’m sure. You feel like your heart is being wrenched out of your chest; your mind is in a constant state of panic trying to find the reason of it all; you start to wonder why you’re even attempting this thing called life.
But then, a glimmer of hope arose. My catastrophe can be avoided! All I have to do is change one minor detail. Just one number. And all my problems are solved. I can go on happily with my perfect God-blessed life. What’s a little fudge in the whole scheme of things? After all, they are the ones making an issue out of it.
I struggled and wrestled all day with whether or not to go through with this “edit”. I fought with Letter of the Law vs. Spirit of the Law. I found hundreds of reasons to justify the lie, but none of them could get rid of the rock in my gut, the overwhelming sense of guilt that something was not quite right with this decision.
Well, I was running back from my martial arts class this evening, still in turmoil, when I happened to look up, and right in front of me, stretching from one end of the sky to the other, was the most beautiful, vibrant and full rainbow I have ever seen! It wasn’t even raining, but there, plastered right in front of my face, was the eternal handprint of God. And that got me thinking:
What was I really doing with this “fudging of the facts”?
I have asked and prayed and desired for God to be present and to bless me in all my endeavours throughout my entire life, and this rainbow was a sign of all those promises. Yet is there a second half to the story? True, God promises to never forsake us, and to always be our guide, and to take care of all our earthly needs…but…ONLY if we follow His commands and precepts. ONLY if we give Him glory in all that we say and do and think. ONLY! I have become so intent on begging God to be present in all my decisions that I have forgotten that God will only bless that which is in accordance with His character! I plan my life’s every step, pushing God to the wayside, but when it’s all laid out exactly how I think it should be, then I turn to Him and say, “Ok, God, could You come bless these plans now so I can be sure they won’t fail?” Was I so foolish to think that God would bless all my activities simply because I belong to Him? How could I take such advantage of that Grace? It is an insult to the Gospel.
No, I can’t do it. Anything done in and of myself is worth nothing and will never succeed. I know that if I were to follow the path of the Lie, God would not go with me. And that is more terrifying to me than any inconveniences this decision will most likely bring. I know some people will probably think I am being really stupid and fundamentalist. And you know what, even with not fudging that number, it could possibly work out (by a miracle of God, of course), but even if it doesn’t, I’m willing to face that possibility and to just move on with the knowledge that God has me exactly where He wants me.
So, yes, of course I’m still filled with sorrow. Putting off your life career for yet another year is never an easy thing. But I am also filled with peace and with a new sense of determination.“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty, I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust! For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, And from the deadly pestilence He will cover you with His pinions, And under his wings you may seek refuge. His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes, And see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord , my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. ‘Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him, And let him see My salvation’.