Tough Decisions

“…Courage, child…” (Matthew 9:2)

I write this post with a heavy heart. Today, I make the difficult decision to turn down an offer that carries with it a great potential for my ministry. And the reason is quite simple: God says so.

Don’t get me wrong. I am owning my decision. This is also what my heart says. I am not using God as a scapegoat. I am not obeying grudgingly. Neither is this blind obedience. I discerned. I consulted. I prayed hard. I agonized for over a month leading to this decision. And God’s direction seems pretty clear. That’s why I can empathize with Abraham in today’s first reading.

One of Abraham’s deepest desires is but a name: Isaac. “Long-awaited and often dreamt of” Isaac. And so when God gave Abraham his much-awaited son, Abraham was ecstatic. He dreamt of playing catch with Isaac, teaching him his trade, and reading the bible to him every night. He dreamt of fishing with Isaac and Sunday morning jogs with him. And then like a sledgehammer, God brings down the command. He asked Abraham to sacrifice dear Isaac.  Like a ram, Isaac was to be tied down and placed on an altar to be slaughtered.

Abraham had all the reasons to question God. To be angry. To rebel. But he didn’t. Instead, he submitted to His will. Because deep in Abraham’s heart, he still loved God more than Isaac. His desire for God was still bigger than all his biggest desires combined, including Isaac.

Let’s bring this closer to home.

Have you made any tough decisions lately in pursuit of God’s will for your life? Or maybe you are in the middle of making one?

…Staying in a service-oriented job in exchange for a more lucrative job offer;

…Choosing to serve in this ministry despite the temptation to serve  somewhere else;

…Setting aside your comfort to love this difficult person just because God says so;

…Not migrating despite the opportunity to do so because God showed you the value of remaining in this country.

Tough decisions. I encourage you to make them with a heart just like that of Abraham. Make them with a heart of faith.

As you do, take heart from what Jesus told the paralytic in today’s Gospel. Listen to it as if Jesus is talking directly to you:

“…Courage, child…” (Matthew 9:2)

For me, hearing God’s encouragement is enough to take away the fear. With God on my side, making tough decisions won’t be so scary after all.

Begging for your prayers,

Bobby Q.

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