Life At Its Best: Making hard decisions
By Jim Graff
I remember very clearly being in the room as my wife was giving birth to our first child. It was quite an eye-opener for me.
I understood after that day why they called it, "labor." It was a lot of work to birth a baby, and I was sure glad God chose women for this job instead of men.
I can still see the look on my wife's face after hours of intense labor. It was a look that said, "If there was any other way of getting this baby here, I'd choose it."
Haven't we all felt that way in life? We think there has to be an easier way to get where we know we need to go. But truthfully, it often takes this kind of focus and courage to birth the new things God has for us.
I had to have this kind of courage as a teenager. I was the first in my family to become a fully devoted follower of Christ.
Not everybody was happy about my decision, especially my mom.
Don't get me wrong, my mom was a wonderful person. She loved her family and poured her life into us. She taught us good morals and watched over our lives like a lioness.
But she was of the persuasion that you weren't supposed to read and try to understand the Bible. In fact, she was taught that if you tried, you might get really confused and end up in a mess.
So, when I begin to read my Bible as a new Christian and attend a Bible study at a nearby church, she began to roar. She actually set a boundary. She let me know if I continued to do this, I would have to move out when I was 18.
That was tough for me because I was from a "Happy Days" type of home that was well-respected in our community.
I knew it would take some courage for me to follow God at this point in my life.
So I talked with a friend of mine whose family were believers and understood my situation. They offered to let me live with them so I could continue growing in my walk with God. I lived there for several months until my family realized I was serious about my walk with God.
As I look back, I recognize that had I not made some hard choices then, I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't have seen my family come to the faith, gone on the mission field or experienced so many of God's wonderful blessings in my life.
Jesus tells us in John 10:27, "My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them and they follow me." Are you hearing God say that he wants to take you to new places in your life? Has he said he wants to take you to a new place in your career, marriage, finances or relationships? Let's be willing to stand up to what challenges God wills in our life. We'll find that God's best is worth fighting for.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com