Some years ago, after a series of mistakes left me exasperated and discouraged, I pleaded with God to turn me into a robot, programmed to always do what He knew was best. You know that deep down I want nothing more than to do what’s right, but my wrong decisions and harebrained ideas keep getting in the way! Can’t You reprogram me to always make the right choice and do the right thing? Think how much better off Your world would be!

That’s really not the solution, He replied. Not only would that take the challenge out of your life, but it would put a damper on our relationship. Because you would no longer need to come to Me for guidance, you would stop relying on Me. You would stop appreciating Me, and before long you would stop loving Me. No, I think we’d better leave you the way I made you—but I’ll tell you what I will do. Instead of programming you with all the answers all at once, I will give them to you one by one, whenever you bring a matter to Me in prayer.

It wasn’t really a new offer at all, of course, and it wasn’t exclusively for me. He makes the same offer to you, summed up in these verses from the Bible: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”1

The arrangement isn’t perfect, because it involves imperfect people like you and me—it depends on us remembering to stop and ask Him for guidance and then having the faith, yieldedness, humility, and whatever else it may take to follow through and do what He shows us—but I’m sure you’ll find, as I have, that it beats trying to figure things out yourself!

  1. Proverbs 3:5–6