Tag Archives: Genesis

What Choices Do We Have?

20 Mar

So much in life is beyond our control and choice. Flood, fire, earthquake, tornado, hurricane—each powerful and demanding. We’re forced to kneel before Nature’s fury. Other situations may trap us and deny our power to choose.

Consider other people’s choices. Children have no choice regarding frequent moves due to a parent’s occupation or military service. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse rob many of dignity and hope. Thieves “choose” precious possessions in the dead of night and hijack our treasured security. A spouse decides he/she no longer wants to remain married consequently jeopardizing our financial and relational world. Someone drives drunk on the Interstate, creating orphans and heartbreak.

Another category:  choices we make but can’t choose resulting consequences. We abuse our sedentary bodies with food, alcohol, and tobacco despite the doctor’s warning. We now face hospitalization, perhaps long term care. We practice shopping therapy—clothes hang in our closets still wearing price tags, a “keeping-up-appearances car” fills the garage. Yet we’re helpless to control a plunging credit score and high interest credit card bills. We take our spouse for granted refusing support, affection, and attention. Unfortunately, we can’t control the response of “too little, too late” and the divorce that follows.

At these times, life seems to offer no alternatives, no choices.

Don’t despair. We were created to choose. The first thing God did was to give mankind work and a choice (Genesis 2:15–18). He designed humanity with the ability to choose between good and evil.

Choosing God brings life.

Deuteronomy 30:19 Today I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses. I am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now, choose life! Then you and your children may live (NCV).

There are several kinds of death other than physical. We can experience mental, spiritual, emotional, and/or intellectual death.

When other people’s choices threaten to destroy us, we can choose bitterness and anger, resentment and revenge. We can ask “why me” and wonder “if only.”

Or we can choose life and trust .

Romans 8:28a We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him (NCV).God

This isn’t a promise for everyone; it’s only for those who love and trust God. With His help we can rebuild after a disaster. We can choose to exercise, eat healthy, and give up harmful habits. We can decide to get counseling rather than rely on shopping therapy. We can learn to communicate and cherish loved ones even if we can’t undo past mistakes. We can trust God to bring justice in His time and His way, even if we don’t see it (Romans 12:19).

Most of all, we can choose to forgive—forgive others and ourselves. When we pray the prayer Jesus taught, we say, “Forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors.” That may be the secret to living fully—continual confession and continual forgiveness, accepting and offering the forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. Let’s choose wisely, friend.

Saving Sunshine—Part 2

15 Aug

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Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest, they don’t have storerooms or barns, but God feeds them. And you are worth much more than birds . . . Consider how the lilies grow; they don’t work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that even Solomon with his riches was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers (Luke 12:24, 27 NCV).

God says pay attention to His creation; we can learn something.

Months ago, I began asking God if I should get another dog after my little Sunshine died. I got on rescue websites and even made a call or two about specific dogs. In every case, someone else adopted the dog. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to adopt. My busy schedule combined with my husband’s reservations caused me to have second thoughts. Then I realized that three of the four local rescue shelters kept dogs alive; the fourth euthanized them after one week. I couldn’t save them all, but I could save one.

I still had my list of preferences: female, small, doesn’t shed. I went back to the Humane Society website and found Bambi who met my first three “qualifications.” I called; she hadn’t been adopted. When I got to the shelter (25 miles from home), she wasn’t there.

“She’s been taken to another shelter,” the rescue worker told me, “but I can give you that number.”
“No thank you. The point is not to have a particular dog, but to save a life.”
“You’re welcome to walk around and see if there is another dog you might want.”

So I found the cages marked FEMALE and walked up and down the aisles asking God to lead me to “my” dog. Nothing. Disappointed, I returned to the office.

“Did you find a dog?”
“Not this time. I was hoping for a small female, maybe part Shish Tzu.”
“Did you look at number 21? She’s a Shish Tzu-terrier mix.”
“I thought that row was males.”
“They’re next to the males.”

I went back to #21. A small dog put her nose against her cell and licked my fingers. Her entire backend wagged in welcome. She never barked once, though surrounding dogs howled, barked, and whined. I let the workers know I’d be praying about #21.

The next afternoon I went back to see #21 without stopping in the office.
She was gone!

Tears of disappointment surprised me. Surely, I hadn’t formed an attachment so quickly. I ran back to the office as I dried my eyes and put on a calm exterior.
“Number 21 wasn’t there,” I explained.
“Oh, she’s in the TV room.”
“Do dogs watch TV?” (I know. Brilliant response.)
(Smiling) “No. We were making a TV spot to encourage her adoption.”
Huge relief. “Could I meet her one-on-one?”
We got acquainted in the penned patio. Number 21 was a bit rambunctious and covered with bloody ticks and scabs—but she stole my heart.

“I think I want to adopt her. By the way, what’s her name?”
“ Sunshine.”
“Are you kidding?”
“No, that’s her name . . . Are you going to cry?” (Obviously, a rhetorical question)
“Sunshine was my dog’s name; she died a few months ago.
I signed the paper work and wrote a check.

So God made the wild animals, the tame animals, and all the small crawling animals to produce more of their own kind. God saw that this was good (Genesis 1:25 NCV).