Emotions can often interfere with wisdom when it comes to making life-changing decisions. All too often we find ourselves in this predicament – do we trust our heart, or our mind.
Recently, I observed this situation in a close family friend. “Carol” is a phenomenal registered nurse who is often deeply moved by her patient’s needs. As a young child, her heart’s greatest desire was to become a nurse.
Over time, there have been changes in the field of nursing. Nurses are now seen as highly- trained professionals rather than simply doctor’s assistants. The length of shifts has also changed, and now up to twelve or more hours on duty is considered normal. The combination, of high-stress responsibility and extended shifts, takes a tremendous emotional and physical toll on nursing staff.
For “Carol,” the strain had become so severe that she wanted to sell her home, move out of state, and look for a different type of employment. Her nervous turmoil manifested itself in a painful case of shingles. In pushing herself so hard, she had damaged her health.
“Carol” knew she needed to make a decision – and soon. Should she put her house up for sale, or quite her job first? Someone advised her to wait until she had a contract on her house before giving up her job. This advice came from a trusted family friend, but was it the wisdom and purpose of God? In the natural world it seemed wise. In the spiritual world it would prove to be the opposite. At this point, her house had been on the market for several months, yet she had no buyer. Perplexed, “Carol” asked GOD for His guidance.
If we read and follow the counsel in Proverbs 3:5-7, our difficult choices will become a lot easier. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” (NLT)
One day when “Carol” was in tears over her predicament, a caring friend, who had been praying for God’s help, asked her which decision would bring her peace. Without hesitation she replied, “Quit my job.” The next morning “Carol” gave her two week notice to the head nurse. Immediately, she felt a sense of peace after months of inner turmoil. Her faith was being put into action, and she was excited to take the next step in her walk of faith.
James 2:14-16 (NIV) “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save them? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”
Too many times we hear someone say, “I’m just waiting on the LORD.” However, it may be said that the LORD is saying to us, “I’m waiting on you to put your faith into action by trusting me.”
“Carol” had put her faith into action even though she did not have a ‘sold’ contract on her house. After her job finished, she took a brief, refreshing vacation. When she returned home, she again put her faith into action by beginning to pack her household belongings. Within three weeks, she had a contract on her house, and also a back-up contract.
Faith without works is dead! Faith with works flourishes, and moves our lives forward when GOD directs our path.
Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) “You will show me the path of life...”