He lay in an Atlanta, Georgia hospital lingering on a respirator longer than anticipated following heart surgery. Our family had to make a tough decision. It was Dad’s second heart valve surgery. A year after his first surgery, similar symptoms reappeared. His cardiologist and heart surgeon disagreed on the cause so they referred him to Emory University. A second surgery followed, but after a week his oxygen level was still too low to remove the ventilator. Dad’s living will lay in his chart. It appeared we might need it.
The ventilator was finally removed but replaced the same night when Dad’s oxygen level dropped. Then he contracted Mercer and his organs began shutting down. A nurse explained the DNR (do not resuscitate) requirement and decision time arrived. Would we let him linger or obey his wishes? We chose the latter, but it was a tough decision.
Pilate faced a difficult decision also. Would he let Jesus be crucified or follow his conviction that he was innocent? From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar.” (John 19:12).
Life throws tough decisions impacting our morality, finances, family and other relationships. Sometimes we have adequate time to think and investigate, but on other occasions they’re spur-of-the-moment. When faced with difficult decisions, we can compromise and take the easy way out like Pilate or we can stand for what’s right regardless of the cost. Prayer, listening for the still small voice of God’s Spirit, seeking advice from experienced acquaintances and consulting experts are all proper avenues that help us make life’s tough decisions.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to honor You with our easy and difficult decisions.
About the Author: Martin Wiles is a “preacher’s kid,” “wounded warrior” and speaker who understands the struggles believers face. He can be followed on Morning Lite Ministry (www.morningliteministry.com) and Love Lines From God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Dr. Wiles has authored Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity and Grace Greater Than Sin. He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, the Eagle Record, Common Ground Herald and lead writer for WOW blog. He and his wife Michelle reside in Harleyville, South Carolina.