Making big decisions is really difficult. Often I find myself paralyzed in the face of major life choices. Or sometimes even little life choices, like chocolate or vanilla, haha. Though I will say, if it’s ice-cream, 90% of the time it’ll be vanilla with cookie-dough and caramel on top.
Making big decisions, especially in the middle of a transitional season like an engagement or going to college, can be super challenging because there are usually more than one big changes in your life that will require a choice. And a lot of times, it’s not as easy as picking just chocolate or vanilla. Transitions are tough because they’re wholly undefined, right? It’s new territory in your life. ‘I don’t know where to go to college, because I’ve never done this before!’ Or, ‘I have no idea where we should live because I’ve never been married before!’ Things are new and different. It could go chocolate, or it could go vanilla. Or, it could go chocolate vanilla swirl. Or Vanilla with cookie dough. Or chocolate with a cherry on top. Or it could be strawberry! Or Rocky Road! Or things could really get wild and you could end up with a mint chocolate chip milkshake. How fun would that be?
However paralyzing big choices can be, they’re necessary and good! Otherwise you’re just not going anywhere. You can’t go to college if you don’t pick one, you can’t move in with your spouse if you don’t decide on a city and a house or apartment. This is where a really cool passage in the bible comes into play!! Jesus knew we’d need guidance on things like this and so in Luke 11:9-10 he said:
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
There are three great verbs in that verse that are keys to helping us unlock those tricky doors of transition: Ask. Seek. Knock. I promise that if you do these three things, soon the path before you will unfold! How? Let’s break it down!
Ask. Seek. Knock.
Ask // Asking looks like prayer. Pinpoint your need and bring it before God. Do it daily. Do it hourly. Do it as often as you remember. Bring your desire for clarity before God and ask him to show you his will in your transition. Ask him to speak into your confusion. Ask him to bring you peace. Ask him to give you perfect clarity. Ask all the things. Ask. Ask. Ask.
Seek // This looks like being proactive. Seek out answers. Look into colleges. Create a budget with your fiance and tour apartments and houses. Investigate. Talk to friends and family about the decision you are trying to make. Bring your quandary to your small group and ask them to pray with you. Look into all the options, search out ways to find your clarity. Be proactive. Do all the things. Don’t make a move yet, but do the groundwork so when God opens the door, you’re ready to step through it.
Knock // This is where asking and seeking come together. Pick a door and try to open it. I’ll give an example. One time, Kenton and I were looking for a place to live once. We’d had a really hard time finding a home we felt peace about. After searching and searching, asking and praying, we finally found a house we thought was the right one. We had gone through all the steps and it came down to the final one: putting down a security deposit. As I was driving to drop it off, I saw through Google maps that the house’s management office had abysmal reviews. Like, really, really terrible reviews on Google and Yelp. In all our asking and seeking when we found this house, one of the things I’d prayed was for God to close a door if it wasn’t the right one. Discovering those bad reviews with a security deposit in my hand was a door closing, and a door closing hard. It was an answer to prayer! It was God saying, “not this one.” So even in your asking and seeking when you go to knock on a door it isn’t the right one, God will guide you until you knock at the right door.
So, for all those big transitions, ask, seek, knock. And in the meantime, know that every day you haven’t knocked on the right door is a day filled with perfect purpose. God doesn’t waist waiting. He’s using it to grow you. And if you need a little reminder, grab yourself a bowl of your favorite ice-cream and know God’s in the process of creating one special treat just for you.