Now Choose Life...

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 I find flowers to be one of the most beautiful creations that God has given us. If I had my way, our front lawn would be turned over and landscaped. It would contain gorgeous blooms, landscaping stones, benches, a gazebo, flowering shrubs, and even a small water fountain. If I had my way our front lawn would be replaced with something much more beautiful and inviting.

Getting lost in thought while I pull weeds, clip and shape, or nurture those plants that may not be thriving, has always been a delightful part of the warmer months. There is nothing like spending an afternoon with my hands in the earth and watching life grow from the ground beneath my feet.

Recently that has changed.

I have developed a severe allergy.  We have no idea what is causing it, or why it has happened. However, working in my garden ends with my body covered in a rash that spreads quickly and causes a great deal of irritation. Each exposure results in a more inflamed reaction, with my eyes swelling shut and my body giving in to whatever is poisoning it. Since we can't locate the source of the allergy, and my doctor is concerned that the next exposure could result in a life threatening reaction, my gardening days have come to an end.

I could decide to continue working in my garden. I could even decide to make plans for my dream garden and landscape the front lawn. I could put aside all warnings, seek my own will, and do what I wanted to do. However, following my own will could cost me my life.

It reminds me of what took place in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had a choice to make. They could choose life or death. They made the wrong choice. They followed their own desires and made decisions based on their own will.

The Bible was written in a way that encourages us to choose a life based on His way. Those choices can lead to a better physical and spiritual life. He allows us to make the choice, just as he allowed Adam and Eve to make their choice. He will not force us, but He wants us to do what is right and our life depends on it.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live (Deuteronomy 30:19 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
American King James Version×

It can be difficult to put aside our own will, placing His will above our desires. If you are struggling with a personal matter, want to make changes in your life, or feel as if you are headed in the wrong direction, there are steps you can take that will help you understand His will and follow His lead in making the right choices.

• Pray about it. Let God know that you want His will. Ask Him to help you and give you the needed strength to make changes.

• Read your Bible and seek the wisdom within the scriptures. Learn what God says and what He wants from each of us.

• Ask for help. You can contact a United Church of God minister, in your local area, through the "Contact Us" page. Counseling with someone who understands not only what you are going through but God's word as well, can be encouraging and uplifting.

Seek God's will and He will be there for you. Choose life!