These are hard days for our state and national leaders. They are being asked to make decisions which will affect the lives of a large number of people. They are balancing the impact of a dangerous virus and an economic disaster that could ultimately harm many lives. The problem they face is twofold; they are not experts on viral infections nor are they economists. They rely on experts in those given fields, but the experts don’t always agree. They could take a poll of the populous, but that would just help them understand what the majority of ignorant people think. It is a hard place to be!
The dilemma they face is certainly on a much larger scale than most of us have dealt with, yet we can relate on some level because we have all been in situations where we have to make a decision without knowing the full impact of our choice.
I remember the year after my wife, Christy, had kidney transplant. It was discovered that she had a type of lymphoma (PTLD) resulting in part from the immunosuppressant drugs that she had to take to avoid rejecting the kidney. As various treatments were discussed it became obvious that there was going to be a decision made between a course of action to deal with the cancer that might result in her rejecting the kidney but was aggressive towards eliminating the cancer, or one that protected the kidney but might allow the cancer to spread.
We were ignorant, so we listened to the experts. The problem was they didn’t agree. Her nephrologist was very concerned about the cancer and her oncologist was worried about her kidney. We did what every person facing decisions like that should do. We listened to both doctors, gained as much knowledge as we could, asked the Lord for wisdom, and made a decision knowing that the outcome was ultimately in our Lord’s hands.
The goal was, of course to get rid of the cancer, but protect the kidney. It didn’t work out as well as we hoped and she rejected the transplant and ended up on dialysis. It was a difficult time, but we really never regretted the decision that she made, because we had done all we could do to gain knowledge and we trusted the Lord to give us wisdom. Whatever the result was, it was in the hands of one who loves us greatly and who is in control. Christy later had a second transplant and that has gone well.
I told that story to remind us all that as we make decisions, we need to follow a simple routine. Gather as much information as we can, ask the Lord for wisdom, and then make a decision and act on it. Nothing should be decided out of ignorance in blind faith, nothing should be decided without asking our Lord to direct our thoughts, but ultimately a decision has to be made and action has to be taken. Not deciding is always a poor decision!
It is right to ask our leaders to do the hard work of gaining as much knowledge as they can. We should expect that out of them, but it is also imperative that we pray for wisdom on their behalf, and then trust the Lord to give us the grace we need as we move ahead.