Our city in South Africa regularly experiences major power issues, with up to five hours of what they call “loadshedding” daily. Due to overdemand and undersupply, the electric company must cut back and shut off the electricity intermittently. During these periods, industry grinds to a halt, stores close, traffic booms, fans and fridges turn off, and everyone suffers. There’s only so much you can do without power.
Four friends sit around the kitchen island. Each of us has jobs, schedules, responsibilities that pull us in different directions, and it isn’t often that we have the opportunity to hang out together. But on this evening we sit together and share life.
Is God personally concerned about you? Does He want to provide solutions to your problems, bless your endeavors, help you get the most out of life, and make you the best person you can possibly be? If so, is He able to tell you how? Yes, yes, and yes!
In one of his psalms, King David wrote, speaking to God, “To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.”1 I’ve always found that to be a beautiful description of God’s ability to be everywhere and see everything.
I have such a clear memory of it. I woke up early on a summer morning and looked outside to see only white. I rubbed my eyes, thinking there was something wrong with them, then decided to explore. I stepped out onto the porch and down the steps and was amazed to feel like I was in the middle of a cloud. I walked a few feet and spun around, then I realized that I didn’t know where I was. I was only steps from the porch, but I didn’t know which way it lay.
Some years ago, after a series of mistakes left me exasperated and discouraged, I pleaded with God to turn me into a robot, programmed to always do what He knew was best. You know that deep down I want nothing more than to do what’s right, but my wrong decisions and harebrained ideas keep getting in the way! Can’t You reprogram me to always make the right choice and do the right thing? Think how much better off Your world would be!
One of the traits of humankind, as beings created in the image of God, is free will, which includes both the ability to make decisions and the responsibility for the outcomes of our decisions. Learning to make decisions that will glorify God and fulfill His will for our lives can be very challenging. It can test and grow our faith, as we seek His will and wait on Him for answers and guidance.
It was summer and I was on a youth mission trip on the northern coast of Poland. As our trip came to a close, our base in Warsaw was sending a van to pick most of us up, while Nick, René, and I planned to head back by train/bus/hitchhiking. I have no idea how this harebrained plan was conceived, but for some reason, we thought it was great.
My wife and I were attending a funeral in the USA. We’d rented a car and were out running errands. Personally, I wanted to find a watch repair shop where I could purchase a new battery and get it installed in my old wristwatch. In the first two commercial centers we had visited, we asked around, but there was no one that we spoke with who knew where we might find one. A Google search was also unsuccessful, and I reluctantly gave up on that errand.
I think I was about 14 when I had my first roller coaster experience. Why in the world am I doing this?! I remember thinking, as my wagon chugged up to that first drop-off and my blood drained into my feet. Then began the heart-thumping succession of extreme ups and downs with no stopping place, no exit. My only option was to hold on for dear life and finish the course.