No Clear Choice

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. (Prov. 9:10-11)

I can't count the number of times I wished God would just zap me with the right answer to a problem. Sometimes I need to make a decision in a sticky situation at work, and while I'd like a clear signal what to do, more often God simply gives me wisdom.

One weekend, I was growing cells for testing compounds. I had to set up an experiment on a weekend evening because of our fast-paced testing schedule.

After I painstakingly harvested the cells and counted them, I realized I didn't have enough cells for the experiment.

I had two options:

(1) I could reseed the cells and wait for them to reach the correct number, but that would mean delaying the experiment and messing up a very rigid test schedule.

(2) Or I could go ahead with the experiment, but the lower cell numbers could possibly compromise the results.

It was ten at night on a Sunday. I couldn't call my supervisor because she and her entire household were asleep. What was I going to do?

Why not pray? I have absolutely no one else to ask. God is always awake. I don't always hear God clearly, but I have nothing to lose now. Maybe he'll give me some weird sign to tell me what to do.

I prayed. I waited for a clear sign from God, a "nudge" in my spirit or a fantastic idea that just popped into my head.


I prayed again.


I started to panic. The cells were going to die soon if I didn't make a decision.

Maybe God just wanted me to make the decision on my own. If so, I still needed help. I prayed for wisdom. I thought about the two choices. Then I chose option one as the lesser of two evils and messed up the test schedule. I wasn't sure about the decision, but I trusted God had given me the wisdom I needed to make the better choice.

My supervisor wasn't happy when she heard about it on Monday, but she also realized I had no good choice, and said she'd have done the same thing I did.

So what did I learn from this?

Sometimes God doesn't give clear direction (like a sign written in cells under the microscope: "Reseed"), and that's okay. He has given his children wisdom to help them through certain situations, even those as trivial as deciding what to do about a low cell count.

I honestly believe God did direct me at that time, even if it wasn't a handwriting on the wall. It opened my eyes to more ways God can guide me, in ways not so obvious.