Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Come Let Us All Unite And Sing"1 (Lyrics)
James 1:5 – If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it. (TLB)
No one has penned the "if only" conundrum more appropriately than poet Robert Frost in the selection, "The Road Not Taken":
- Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
If we are not careful, the "if onlys" can consume us. They seemed to do that with Frost as he described two paths, only one of which he could take. He wished that he could have taken both — or could at least have gone back to travel the other that he hadn't taken the first time around — but he couldn't.
Life is filled with choices. According to James, God is more than willing to give us wisdom to make those choices — if only we'll ask.
Not all choices are between good and evil — or even between better and best. Frost said that both roads looked equally good. He simply couldn't travel both. I've experienced the same. Choosing between right and wrong is easier; choosing between two equally good choices is challenging. Seeking God's wisdom through prayer, the study of His Word, and advice from wise spiritual counsellors is crucial if we're to avoid the "if onlys" later down the road of life.
Some roads are labelled "Right" and "Wrong" in bold letters, but that doesn't necessarily make the choice any easier. Our arch enemy loves to take us down roads that he knows will destroy us spiritually and then watch us wallow in regret, shame, and depression. Not only does God provide the wisdom to make the right choice in these circumstances, but He also gives us the strength to say "No" and take the other path.
Whatever choice that we are faced with in life, God will give us the wisdom to make it, if only we will take time to ask.
Prayer: Father, give us wisdom for the choices that we must make in life. May our choices reflect our love for and faith in You. Amen.