Decisiveness…brought to you by… the Holy Spirit
“Two hundred and fifty dollars.”
That was the emergency room co-payment I signed for during my recent family vacation. Was I overreacting to my youngest boy’s abdominal pain? Maybe he just ate too much pizza!
Decisions when you’re a single mom aren’t easy. You can often second-guess yourself because later, hindsight could reveal you spent that $250 unnecessarily.
But I learned my lesson about hesitating on abdominal pain years ago with his brother. We were on the slopes at a ski resort when he complained, “Mom, my tummy hurts.” Thinking it was too much hot cocoa, I waited. He kept on skiing and even slept well that night. In the morning he complained again. “Hmmm,” I thought as we packed the car. A pancake breakfast and a stop for lunch during the long drive home had me thinking, “if he can eat, it’s probably something tha has passed.”
But when I noticed him lying around on the couch at home without his usual pep, I asked him to point to where it hurt. He pointed right at his appendix, and we were headed for the emergency room.
The ultrasound technician pointed out his appendix on the screen—a finger-like shape, about an inch long. “I’ve never seen an appendix,” I said. “How big are they normally?”
The technician looked up. “Normally we don’t see it at all—this one is about to burst.”
My head grew light, and the room started to spin. My twelve-year-old had been downhill skiing with an inflamed appendix!
So how do you reconcile a near-miss with appendicitis with the proper response to a nagging belly ache?
I don’t know about you, but I have to admit, I can’t. As the mom in charge, or in any responsible decision-making position, it’s not always about making the right choices, because if life was about me making all the right choices using on my own abilities—I’d fail for sure.
All I can do is walk in obedience and listen to the Holy Spirit. And when I do, I can let go of the results, knowing I’ve decided according to Him. If I feel the Lord guiding me to take him for a hospital visit, only to find that after $250, he’s just fine, I will have made the right decision. The simple act of obedience was worth the investment.
Why? Because the more you listen to the Holy Spirit, the louder He becomes, and the easier it becomes to hear Him and receive His help with the next decision in life.
Jesus explained this to his disciples when He told them He would not be leaving them alone, but would send the Holy Spirit to guide them. He told them, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)
Where are you in life when it comes to taking on the big guns of responsibility? Are you having to wear the boots in the family? Run a business? Lead a project at the office or at church? Perhaps simply deciding what’s the next move in your life after a boatload of change has been piled upon you is responsibility enough!
Don’t let fear of making wrong decisions paralyze you. Consider your definition of success when it comes to decision making—it’s not the result of your decision as much as the heart with which you listen to Him. True success is to completely obey the Lord’s will and accept the consequences, good or bad, of instructions well executed.
When the doctor gave the all clear, I had no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice—not because the world would think so, but because I was led to. Perhaps He did so simply to strengthen my obedience muscle. Who knows what He’ll ask of me next. This might have been a stepping stone to bigger missions He will use me for!
And $250? As much as our family needs the funds, knowing I listened to the Lord’s will made the investment sound.
If you’d like to learn more about how you receive the Holy Spirit through the gift of salvation, read about Our Hope we have because Christ died for our sins. If you have already surrendered your life to Christ and would like to invite the Holy Spirit to work strongly in your life, start with a prayer here, and consider contacting our team members to pray with you.
Dear Father God,
I want to know that confidence in being able to live out my life without fear of decision making. I’ve made decisions in the past that haven’t worked out so well and I’m tired of trying to make all of my decisions based on my own experience and ability. I need help. I want to know You better and hear Your voice better. I will take baby steps, Lord. I will listen and obey each time I know I’m hearing Your direction, even in the little things. And I know Your voice will become stronger inside of me each time I obey. Would you help me, Lord. Would You speak to me through Your Holy Spirit and give me the ears to hear and listen and the will to obey You? Amen.