We can choose change. Even after we make a bad choice, we don’t have to live with it forever. Recently, God taught me a very valuable lesson about choices and consequences using two very different kinds of face cream.
Bad Choices Are Often Made in Haste
It all started when I decided that I needed some moisturizer. I was at a discount store, and as I scanned the shelves and all the tons and tons of choices, it wasn’t long before my eye stopped on the small pink bottle. It was the kind my grandmother always used when I was growing up. I still remember her making the joke that it was “Oil of Old Lady.” The price was fairly cheap, and I was in a hurry, so, I grabbed it and went.
The next morning when I was getting ready for work, I put a little dollop in my hands. As I proceeded to rub it on my face, I just could not believe how bad it smelled. I grimaced as I finished rubbing it in. I hoped the smell would go away fast so I could breathe the rest of the day. Thankfully it did, so the next day, I used it again.
The smell was just as bad or worse the next day. But, I had paid good money for it, and it would be a waste to throw it away. After four or five days of using it, I noticed that my face was broken out in pimples in several areas, and I was honestly starting to dread putting it on. But, I had made my choice, so I was going to have to live with it. For over a week, I kept using that terrible face cream. Finally, one day it occurred to me that God is a very good provider. I’m not rich by any means, but I was not so broke that I couldn’t afford another bottle of lotion if I needed it. I pitched it, hard, into the trash and went to work.
But We Can Choose Change
Later when I went to the store, I pulled out my phone and looked up the brands with the best reviews. Narrowing it down to a few, I lifted lids and checked out scents before I decided on a bottle of oil-free Neutrogena. It was about five dollars more than my first purchase. The next day when I put on my new lotion, and I smelled that deliciously clean smell, I felt so very thankful to God – not just for the fresh new scent, but because I didn’t have to endure the old one anymore.
For about three days, it was seriously a spiritual thing as I felt a giant rush and overflow of love for God each time I used that new lotion. My skin felt great, and the pimples were clearing up, but it was actually a little bewildering how strongly grateful I felt for such a little thing as face cream. The fourth day as I was getting ready for church, I put on that moisturizer again. Again, I felt that spiritual rush of love and gratitude to God, and it hit me why I had such a strong reaction: He was teaching me a lesson.
See, in life we often make bad choices. Sometimes we pick things because that’s the way it has always been done in our families. Sometimes we choose because things are cheaper or easier or because they seem like they will solve our problems. And when we make those choices, even the ones that hurt us, even the ones that are uncomfortable, we think to ourselves that we made our beds, so now we have to lie in them.
The Lesson For Us All
But God was showing me that just because we made one bad choice doesn’t mean we have to keep choosing it forever. He makes a way for us in Him so that we can get out of any bad situation. With His help, we can choose change. Maybe it will cost us some money. Maybe it will cost us time and effort to research our options, but whatever the cost, it will be better than continuing to live with the consequences of our bad choices when God enables us to live a better way.
Psalm 145:18 tells us that “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” God cares about even the little things and wants to help us live the lives He has called us to live. We all make bad choices sometimes, but we don’t have to keep choosing them. God is with us in every situation. With His help, we can feel better and be happier when we make the choice to choose change.
If you like analogies, try It’s Not the Machine That Makes Us Clean . In it, we see how Christians are only saved by being exposed to the Water. Or, try The Waves of God’s Judgement and the Child of God. The closer we are to God, the more protected we will be in times of trouble.
Like to read more from Evangelical Christian sisters who “tell it messy, true, and wonderful because we are His”? Check out Telling Hearts.