Psalm 25:4-5 (NAS) 4Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. 5Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.

As we walked around each campus, attending various meetings and exploring the buildings that might become like a second home to our college-bound daughter, my mind repeated a simple plea: Help, God! Show us which of these fine institutions is the best match for our precious daughter. I wanted a college where Rachel could learn and grow spiritually as well as academically. 

Decision-making is not one of my strengths, and this was such an overwhelmingly important decision. How could I possibly know? And then on one campus, I was filled with a certainty that we had found our daughter’s college. Later, my husband reported the same “knowing.” Rachel also rated this college as her first choice. Four years later, with tons of experience in journalism and managing a newspaper staff, many questions of faith explored for herself, journalism degree in hand and engagement ring on her finger, our daughter HAD grown tremendously.

How wonderful of the Lord to make the decision so clear for us. Three of us independently convicted of the same thing. So neat. So tidy. So easy.

But it wasn’t the same when it came time for our son to choose  a college. I expected that God would confirm the decision in the same way. God did not. I liked my son’s first choice, but was not certain. Instead, I relied on his conviction that this was where God was leading. It was several weeks into his first semester before I began to see for myself the wonderful match that God had made. Following the Lord is a tricky thing. God speaks in different ways, and we need to be ready to listen and obey. As I reflect on these two different experiences with God’s leading, I have a few ideas about why the Lord might have communicated differently, but I may never know for sure. What I do know is that when we ask for guidance, God provides in some way.

Lord God. You know all things. Work in me so that my heart’s cry in ANY situation is “Lead me, Lord.” And then please help me to recognize your guidance and obey.

Cindy Brown