“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11
“Je voudrais un macaron sil vous plait.” (I would like a macaron please.)
Step inside historic Maison Laduree on Rue Royale – one of the most highly acclaimed pastry shops in Paris, known for its delectable macarons. You will find the colors attractive and the aroma enticing. The spectrum of flavors is quite overwhelming that it makes the task of narrowing down your choice to one or two (or three) somewhat challenging.
Life presents so many choices; some more serious than others. As followers of Christ we desire to know the will of God in everything and make decisions according to his commands. Obedience (though not perfect in our present life) is the outcome of His saving grace; a result of our redemption. The apostle John clearly taught “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says I know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly, the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (1 John 2:3-6). While we don’t always make the right turns along our journey and we are still often blinded by the world and by our weaknesses, our union with Christ transforms us in such a way that we grow in our yearning to follow closely God’s specific will for our lives.
I do believe there are times when our Heavenly Father, out of his graciousness, puts forth an array of righteous and beneficial choices before us and calls us to pick one and love Him there . I’ve heard a pastor illustrate this in a practical (and appetizing) way. He said sometimes, God’s general will for his children, is like a variety plate of cookies freshly baked by grandma, whose delight is to see her grandchildren simply enjoy her baked goodies. She is neither more pleased nor less pleased if they grabbed the chocolate chip instead of the raisin oatmeal. Selecting the gluten-free kind does not bring her greater joy either. Similarly, I cannot make the House of Laduree, who has been making macarons since 1862, any more or any less famous whether I ordered salted caramel or pistachio or raspberry (…or all of the above!!!). Given the quality this brand is known for, I will surely enjoy my macaron(s). If I can have such confidence in a pastry shop (or in grandma’s baking skills), there is absolutely no reason why I cannot trust the Author and Perfecter of my faith when he blesses me with the opportunity to freely choose within the framework of his providence.
When he says, “Choose”, I should not dwell in introspection nor procrastinate under the guise of pursuing deeper discernment. The appropriate response is to obey. After all, what additional assurance do we require from the only One who has full knowledge of what is good? Isn’t he the same Father who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32). If our God who is Perfect has already laid out the boundaries within which we have the freedom to choose, does it make sense to allow our fear of making a less than perfect choice paralyze us? Though it may not be our fear but our pride, in fact, that stifles us from yielding to Him who loved us first. (1 John 4:19) Our arrogance and disbelief hinder us from receiving what he offers and going where he leads. More than wisdom and understanding, we need humility and faith to joyfully live in reckless abandon, completely secure in the depth and breadth of his goodness, and totally surrendered to him whose ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9).
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” James 1:17 The Giver of life, the Giver of all that is good; He is our Father. Let us worship him, and enjoy his gifts with thankful hearts.
“For all your goodness I will keep on singing, ten thousand reasons for my heart to find.” from the song 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman