Can I ask you a question? Are you indecisive? Are you hesitant in making choices? Perhaps you are like my friend who agonizes over the menu in a restaurant because she just can’t choose, and when we go shopping she comes home empty-handed because she couldn’t make up her mind. I, on the other hand, am the complete opposite. Even as a young child, my mum would have described me to others saying, “She knows her own mind.” (This was not necessarily a good thing and definitely presented my poor long-suffering mum with parenting challenges!)

Everyday, we make choices and decisions. Some we make sub-consciously, some are insignificant, and some end up to be life-changing. Perhaps we have been on the receiving end of a choice someone else has made, and it is challenging or heartbreaking, and in an instant our life’s landscape is altered beyond anything we would have chosen or could have imagined.

As we read Genesis 29, we can but guess that Leah would not have chosen to be “second best,” to feel unloved, and to have a husband who did not want her as his wife. In no way would I want to make light of Leah’s suffering by suggesting that because God was with her in it, it made everything okay.    

God most certainly was with Leah, but you and I know that there are times in our lives when, even with the assurance of the presence of God with us, the pain of our circumstances is a very present reality that we have to walk through. There are times when life seems unfair, when the burden is too great, and when we are weary from the weight of our trials and cannot see an answer to our prayers. This is when we have a choice. We can give in and give up, or we can choose to cling to God and His promises. We can ask Him to help us find a different perspective in times of trial and heartache. 

Let’s look at what Leah learned of God in her struggles. The names Leah gave her first two sons tell us that she knew the Lord was looking on her situation and He saw and heard her heart’s cry (Genesis 29:32–33). What help and assurance that must have been to Leah, knowing that she was not forgotten by God, that His eyes of love and compassion are constantly on His children. 

Dear friend, do we need that tender reminder ourselves today? Whatever we are walking through, God knows. God sees. God hears.

When her fourth son was born, Leah declared that she was going to praise the Lord! Much of her situation had not changed, yet, Leah demonstrated the hard choice of faith. She trusted God in spite of her circumstances and praised Him for who He is.

Choosing a heavenly perspective is also what the apostle Paul urged the believers in Colossae to do in Colossians 3:1–3. What lessons can we learn together from his instruction?

“Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (emphasis mine).

Paul encourages us to “keep seeking the things above.” We are to choose to look up and be in active pursuit of Christ’s kingdom, desiring His rule and reign in our lives, fixing our eyes on Jesus, our risen, victorious, and exalted king. We are to keep thinking about the things above as well, choosing to read and believe God’s Word, His great and precious promises for us, filling our hearts and minds with His truth. This is the unshakeable foundation for whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. 

Paul also tells us that we have died and our lives are hidden with Christ in God—what a great reminder of our identity and security! If we have trusted Christ as Savior and Lord, we have new life, eternal life, in Him. The past no longer has a hold on us, our sin is covered by Jesus’ blood, and the life we now live is in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. So, our lives are joined, intertwined with Christ, together with our Heavenly Father, and we have a bond that no-one can break and nothing can separate us from. We are His and He will never let go of us. 

Today, if you have made bad or unwise choices in the past, be confident in knowing you can seek His cleansing and forgiveness, His new mercies each morning and His redemptive grace.

If your life and heart has been broken by choices, perhaps someone else’s, may you know the nearness of God with you. Everything has been seen and heard by Him; He is the God who heals and restores, who Himself is the light in our darkness. May you know the unbreakable love of Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, who walks with you through this valley.

If you have not yet chosen to wholeheartedly give your life to the One who gave Himself for you, or perhaps for a time you’ve chosen to walk away on your own path, I pray that today you will choose to seek His kingdom first and let Him be your Savior and Lord. Choose to love Him with all your heart and mind and strength and walk in the good plans and purposes He has for you.

As the Israelites were about to about to enter the Promised Land, Moses knew that although much blessing lay ahead, there would also be battles to face and tough decisions to be made, and at times they could wander off in disobedience, so he encouraged God’s people, spurring them on with this exhortation in Deuteronomy 30:19–20a.                                                       

I’ll sign off now with these words as my prayer for each of us today, and everyday.

“Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! I also call on you to love the Lᴏʀᴅ your God, to obey him and be loyal to him, for he is your life and the length of your days to live.”

Amen!

 

Week 2 Challenge:

This week, record the major events of Jacob’s life. Do these things occur because of Jacob’s plans or God’s deliverance? How does Jacob’s manipulation or impatience affect each outcome? Take time to reflect on the ways you attempt to “help” God accomplish His purposes.

Week 2 Reading Plan

Week 2 Memory Verse

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katieshott

katieshott

Katie Shott loves Jesus, loves people, and loves life! Born and bred in Northern Ireland, she lives in Belfast with her amazing husband, Andrew, where they are both involved in serving God in their local church and passionate about global missions. Katie’s heart is for our persecuted brothers and sisters across the world and she is constantly challenged by their courage and faith as they follow Jesus, whatever the cost. Katie loves to laugh and chat over coffee with friends; she knows all the best coffee shops in Northern Ireland, and if you ever come to visit her beautiful ‘wee’ country, she promises to take you to some!

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