by Emily Conrad
I’m a good second-guesser. I can agonize over a decision and pray and seek counsel and, finally, make up my mind—only to later doubt I did the right thing.
The doubts come running when things don’t go like I’d planned. This is harder than I thought it’d be. It’s taking longer. So-and-so has it so much better; why didn’t I do what she’s doing? This can’t be how God’s will looks
In the throes of one of my worry/pity parties, my husband prayed that God would give me a glimmer of his wisdom to give me peace.
Within minutes of my husband’s request, I thought of the Israelites leaving Egypt. They wanted rescue from slavery, God heard their cries, and He sent Moses. But when things got tough, the people started to second-guess everything.
The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this desert to kill this whole assembly with hunger!” – Exodus 16:3, NET
Deliverance didn’t look the way they’d thought it would look. They thought they would’ve been better off dying in slavery.
Yet, despite all those doubts and hardships, they were where they were supposed to be. They were following the man God had sent them to follow. God was in complete control, providing for them and protecting them.
They just couldn’t see it because they believed their doubts instead of their God.
In my second-guessing worry, I was doing the same thing. I was interpreting my hardships as signs that I wasn’t on the path God had prepared for me.
This is dangerous. Trials are not a reliable indicator of whether we heard God’s direction correctly.
Hardships do not necessarily mean we’re on the wrong path.
As we see in Exodus, we can be smack-dab in the center of God’s plan for our lives and still face trials. As we see in Genesis 30 and 31 as Jacob deals with his uncle, people can mistreat and cheat us, and God can still simultaneously heap blessings upon us.
Our hope does not rest in how people treat us. It doesn’t depend on our immediate circumstances.
It depends on the God who has proven Himself faithful again and again—to the Israelites and to me.
He is the God who hears our cries. He miraculously meets our needs, whether that’s by splitting the sea, sending deliverers, or bringing to mind healing Scripture in response to a husband’s prayer.
This is a God who will not fail to bring His people to the promised land, despite the trials we face.
Let us always choose to look beyond our circumstances and doubts to the God who keeps His promises.