The golden staircase

Making decisions is rarely easy to do, and one of the most important times to get it right is when you are deciding on a new job offer. Some years ago, my wife and I were at a crossroads. I had just turned 50, and there is some indefinable thing that happens to our psyche each time our age rolls over to a new decade. The realization begins to dawn that we’re not getting any younger and we don’t have as many strong years left.

My wife and I were looking for new challenges—but where? We had several offers, but two stood out above the others. One was in California; the other was in the Middle East. We added up all of the advantages and disadvantages in neat columns, but the two options came out equal. We read God’s Word and spent time daily trying to discern His plan, but it all seemed a bit foggy. There were just too many variables to know where each path would take us. We felt like what we needed was some sort of direct leading from God.

One Bible verse that has always been helpful in times like this is Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given you.” The passage goes on to say that if we ask for bread, our heavenly Father won’t give us a stone.

For weeks we didn’t know which way to go, so we kept asking God for direction. We were like the importunate woman in a parable Jesus told who kept pestering the judge until he finally gave her what she wanted.1

The answer we needed came in the form of a clear picture in my mind of a glowing golden staircase that ascended to the right. In our case this was significant, because of the two possible directions we could go. We were living in Texas at the time, so the Middle East was to the right of us as we looked at a map of the world, and California was to the left. We believed that vision was the indication from God that we had been praying for, and we acted on it. Looking back now, I can definitely say that was the right choice.

God has a plan for each of our lives. His words in Jeremiah 29:11–13 confirm this: “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

  1. See Luke 18:1–8.