Good Intentions

There is an old phrase that says that “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”  That statement can certainly be true if the good intentions really have no substance to them.  That is, if there is no real probability of follow-through.  However, to write off all good intentions as worthless unless they come to fruition is not the right approach either.  I do believe that God respects good intentions if they are honest, and particularly if they exhibit a strong element of faith.  As an illustration, let me tell you about a friend of mine named Mike.

Mike is in his early 50’s and, like many of us, can describe a rather crooked path to his current status as a Christian.  Mike works in the state prison system which, besides the daily stress, provides ample opportunity to see some of the worst that humanity has to offer.  But Mike perseveres in his faith thanks, in no small part, to his wife.  To add to his stress, one day Mike found out that his cousin was in need of a kidney transplant.  Mike, of course, prayed for a donor to be found, knowing full well the difficulty for anyone to find a match.  Somewhere in all this he had a growing sense that maybe he should be tested as a possible donor.  He prayed about it and then made the decision that would change his life.

The testing was performed and the doctors found that he was, indeed, a match for his cousin.  Unfortunately, they also found that one of his kidneys had very early stage cancer and would need to be removed.  That revelation deprived Mike of a kidney while at the same time it deprived his cousin of a much needed transplant.  But that’s not the end of the story.  Mike had his surgery, grateful that his willingness to give had, in fact, saved his own life.  And his cousin was also fortunate to find another donor in time.

The point of all this is that sometimes God asks you to follow through on your intentions and sometimes he doesn’t.  Sometimes not being asked to follow through still requires the willingness and faith to do so and maybe that is the lesson God wants us to learn.  In Mike’s case, his willingness to follow through on his good intention ended up saving his own life.  And in the end God still provided for Mike’s cousin.