A struggling decider
As you are, of course, my Lord. In fact, it’s hard to think of you in any other way but as my Lord or King. Sometimes it’s very difficult to see you as other things, like my friend.
To me, with a friend, I can complain. To you, I don’t believe I have the right. I’m just the mold, after all. “Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’” (Romans 9:20).
There’s a reason you planted that verse in my heart long ago. There’s a reason you want me to seriously understand the fact that I am just the mold. I trust that this is a characteristic you instilled within me: not to be an argumentative servant, but one who does his best to obey and find grace at your throne without asking many questions. I am thankful you have made me a servant like this.
I also trust there is spiritual wisdom in this outlook you have given me. It reverberates the outlook of Ecclesiastes: “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (1:2). My flesh will wickedly try to taint this wisdom, though. It will lie to me; it will tell me to forget my God; it will say to me, “This god who is over all this vanity couldn’t possibly care about you.” I know these are lies, and I know the outlook (when not perverted by the flesh) is not a foolish or unhealthy one to have.
But it’s frustrating when I read that you, Father, do more than I could ask or imagine. That you give good gifts, better than our earthly fathers’ gifts.
I don’t deserve anything extra. You know that I don’t remotely deserve even a sliver of your grace and love. And you freely give it, because of your goodness. Now I have this salvation, and I trust your word. Although, I sometimes don’t see these promises of good gifts coming true, especially in relation to what I consider more pressing issues.
What do I have to do? What ought I do to receive the blessing of your word digging deep within my heart?
I know I am not the best steward of your grace all the time, but it’s my understanding that I don’t have to do anything but continue to walk with you and pray in faith. And I trust that even if my prayers are not spoken with the lips of great faith, you remain faithful to my needs (2 Timothy 2:13).
You have to understand how this affects me. You’ve created me to think of myself as your mold. I don’t understand how I’m being shaped by you right now.
And typically, I don’t care how you shape my life. Typically, it’s smooth sailing when you’re the captain. You have offered smooth decisions for college and work and relationships. Even in the bad things, like when the relationships go south, they have been clean and — well, relatively — painless.
Yet I am so stressed by work, by classwork, by social situations, by all the compounding choices of my life. My mind screams at me daily, “What if you make the wrong decision?”
How should I end this prayer? How should I end the several nights of tears and desperation and depression, of crying out to you for the answers to the decisions that crowd my every thought?
Perhaps I should end how David ends his psalm of desperation: “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:5-6).
Lord, let that praise, even throughout my constant, aggravated confusion, fill my heart. Remind me that whatever I do is for you, whether I see the fruits of my labor now, or later — or never.
Grant me peace and humility in my decisions. If it’s your will to guide this set of decisions, then I pray that you guide them soon. Restore into my life what shall truly satisfy me. No matter when these decisions are made or what I do, let me humbly bear the fruits of your Spirit.
Jesus, I suppose when it comes down to any decision right now, big or small, I just really need your joy.
Gilmer is the opinion editor for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on X