Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Which way to run?

It seems that I always have some current debate going on in my head. It's a bit exhausting, but true.

My current debate is one of trials. How do you know when a difficult situation is a trial from God or just circumstance?


If enduring a difficult situation is a trial that God has entrusted me with to shape me, then I want to be faithful to persevere in faith. However, if it's really God telling me to change the situation, then I want to be obedient and just leave. "Being faithful and obedient" looks entirely different depending on which of those it is.

I figure that there are four options:
1) It's a trial and I should persevere
2) God's giving me a kick in the pants and I should get out of the difficult situation
3) God doesn't care (not that He doesn't CARE, just that it could go either way and He'd be fine), so if it's terrible then I should just change the situation
4) It's punishment/discipline for some sin I've committed

I REALLY want to be faithful and obedient, but I can't figure out if I'm supposed to embrace the trial, or run a way quickly. I've just been thinking about Jacob working for Laban in Genesis. First Jacob had to work for Laban to endure a character-shaping trial that God had given to him, and he endured it faithfully. Later, he decided that Laban's attitude had changed and it was time for him to go. How do you know when you are supposed to stay and when you are supposed to go?

God gives us trials, entrusts us with them, to teach us and shape our character. That's how we become more like Him. In that sense, if I know a situation is a trial, then I really do want to fully embrace it and be thankful for the opportunity and to learn whatever He has in store for me.

However, it's also true that not all bad situations are Godly trials. Sometimes it is correct to leave a situation of suffering, right? I mean...that was Jacob with Laban. Eventually it was time for him to go. How did he know which was which?

Maybe I just have to be in closer relationship with God for him to tell me, and me to discern His voice. I don't know... I'm a bit stuck on this question at the moment.

No comments: