One of my sister’s best friends since high school passed away at the age of forty-two.
My sister was so engulfed in grief that she felt heavy and cried a lot. I had never seen my sister in so much pain and heartache. I wondered whether she needed a phone call, dinner, or me to sit with her during this trying time.
Jehosheba, the aunt of Joash, was a spiritually discerning woman. When Athaliah knew her son Ahaziah was dead, she went on a killing spree of all of the royal heirs. Since Jehosheba witnessed all this, she decided to hide her nephew from Athaliah.
When I read this Scripture text, I was saddened that the grandma was so engulfed in her grief that she started killing people. I assume she was in a hurt place and lashed out scarily. But I was struck that the aunt was discerning enough to hide her nephew from being killed. I assume the aunt was able to examine the situation carefully and decided to save her nephew’s life, even though it was risky.
When we are faced with life-altering situations, we must decide how we will respond and if we will allow our spiritual discernment to lead us. Are we going to lash out without thinking about the lifelong implications? Or are we going to retreat until we can devise a plan we know will have lifelong implications? Simply put, are we going to be like Athaliah or Jehosheba?
I believe God put this story in the Old Testament to remind us to pause and think about our actions and reactions because lives are often at stake. When I make life-altering decisions in the moment because my emotions are heightened, like Athaliah, I often regret the decision. But when I use spiritual discernment as my foundation, like Jehosheba, I am always happy with the outcome.
How will you respond when you are faced with life-altering decisions?
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