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Monday, June 20, 2005

Choose wisely

On my screen saver are these words...

"Remember. Only One Thing is necessary. Choose wisely."

Some of these words came from a Bible study with my wonderful youth girls. We talked about Luke 10:42 where Jesus shares how Mary had chosen well in spending time with Him and listening to His words. The verse says, “but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

The “choose wisely” part came from a fairytale I’d written for my girls a few years ago. In the scene below the king is throwing a party for his daughters to celebrate their entrance into adulthood. Many in the kingdom desire to win their affection. But there is one whose desire is not for their affection. It is for their destruction. Much like our lives. We have an enemy who seeks to destroy us. We also have a Father who calls us to remember.

“Then one suitor, draped in a jeweled cloak, captured his daughters’ attentions. As the man told stories of his adventures and enchanting far-away places, the King watched the princesses’ excitement grow.

When the stranger departed, King Adonai spoke to Shiri first, then Teshi and Apolline. He whispered his heart’s cry in their ears. ‘Remember that I love you. Choose wisely.’”

This is what God has been teaching me in so many ways through my desert journey. It has been a very hard time, but good. I’d like to share some of what I’m learning.

The most important thing I’m learning is to run to my First Love. Time alone has opened my eyes to the desperate hunger I have tried to fill with other people and things. Good things. Gifts from God. My husband, my children, writing, friends. But when God is calling me to Himself, these good things can stand in the way of the Best. These gifts are also only good when they come from God’s hand and not my striving.

I’ve seen that it’s only when my relationship with my First Love is right, that all other loves are safe. Only One Thing is necessary. I’m learning to choose Him above all else.

Another thing the Lord is teaching me in this time is to choose love over lust. I’m learning from the example of others who’ve shared their stories with me and from my own journey. Lust destroys. Love builds. Love values people and shows respect. Love listens to the heart. Love waits. Lust, on the other hand, demands satisfaction now.

It’s not just youth or singles that need to learn the difference either. Married people need this too. Sex is a gift, not a Band-Aid. When we use it as a place to run to make us feel better, it’s lust. It’s filling a need~ not by running to the Lord~ but with something else. That’s idolatry.

Choose wisely.

This time alone in the desert has been a gift and as I’m learning to choose wisely, I’m falling in love with Him. God is speaking tender words here. He is making all things new in my heart. I have drawn nearer to the Lord and cried out to Him. I’ve learned He truly can meet emotional needs as well as physical longing. He is enough. He is love.

I’m also learning to run to God instead of choosing anger. I love my girls so much. Even so, taking care of three children all day, every day is exhausting. I’ve found my temper short and mind too busy to deal with why.

Until my desert stop.

God is showing me how to run to Him in the midst of a crisis and let Him be my strength, my gentle words, and my loving instruction.

He’s also my forgiveness. Instead of hiding behind anger and the wounds of betrayal, God has led me into this desert to experience my need for of the waters of forgiveness. I’m looking in the mirror with no one else to blame for my reactions, and seeing how thirsty I am. And the result has been an open door to restoration and reconciliation.

A door I’m walking through.

At one point last week, I was ready to throw away all the Lord had begun to show me because the hurt was so intense. I thought I would either go insane or shut down completely. Living an emotionless, passionless, lonely life seemed my only option. I chose to fight instead. Not with the person who hurt me, and not with God.

I chose to stand up and fight the fight of faith. I recognized the enemy’s lies and ran to God for the truth.

And He’s answering abundantly ~ over and above what I asked or imagined. He’s leading me to the beach and restoring my soul. He’s healing my heart as well as the damaged relationship.

I didn’t choose the desert. But I am learning that making wise choices wherever I am matters.

Life is about choices.

Anger or grace?

Lust or love?

Hate or forgiveness?

Idols or your First Love?

Remember. Only One Thing is needed.

How will you choose?


David said...

As we are both learning to lean on the loving arms of our Heavenly Father, it's amazing to see His provision. Who else can take a journey through the desert and turn it into a holiday at the beach? I thank God that He is showing us the length, width and depth of His love. He has chosen us...The choice before us is clear...Thanks for the reminder. I love you!

Amy Wallace said...

I love you too! And I'm so glad God chose you to be my husband. He is the giver of all good gifts...

Love you,

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