Between a Rock and a Hard Place

by Cheri Cowell @CheriCowell

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  James 1:5-6 NIV

Have you ever found yourself between a rock and a hard place? It is an uncomfortable place to be. Stuck between difficult choices, two options that both seem good or both seem bad, needing to make a decision that has unfortunate consequences.

As children, many of us learned that making wrong decisions could be the ultimate mistake, so at times we avoided the whole thing. Later we came to understand that no decision is indeed a decision in itself. So how are we to make difficult choices? Where do we find the wisdom to make good choices?

God has the answer in a simple gift He calls wisdom.

The Book of James is short but packed with practical knowledge. In the above nugget, we learn that wisdom is not something that comes from study, a strong character or will, or even from a good heart. True wisdom, divine wisdom, is a gift from God, and all we have to do in order to receive it is to ask. The process of asking reminds us that we are totally dependent on Him for wisdom. God promises that when we ask for His wisdom, God promises to give it. He never tires of providing it.

James goes on to explain that once we receive wisdom, we must then trust it. How do we trust? Simply put, we act. We make a decision and move boldly and confidently, knowing that if we have aligned ourselves with God by our request, God will lead us forward.

If you just gulped as you read that last sentence, you know this is a real test of where your trust lies. If we trust that God is who He says He is, and trust that He will direct if we ask, then we can trust Him and will act on that belief.

This is how we move from between that rock and hard place.

I’ve found that when I follow these steps, God is able to move me where I am supposed to be. If I move in a wrong direction, He will correct my course. If I move in the right direction, He goes before me. The saying is true: God doesn’t tend to move anchored ships that stay safe and secure in the harbor. God moves a ship that is moving through the open waters.

In prayer today, thank God for His perfect wisdom that is always available for you. Ask Him to help you remember to seek it whenever you find yourself in difficult circumstances, then determine you will trust Him and make that move.

About the author: Cheri Cowell is the author of 365 Devotions for Peace (Thomas Nelson). She can be found at

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – insight from @CheriCowell on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Cheri Cowell Cheri Cowell is also a contributor to When God Calls the Heart to Love. To learn more about Cheri visit

Inspired by best-selling author Janette Oke and the Hallmark Channel original TV series When Calls the Heart, Brian Bird and Michelle Cox explore the love-filled moments from the fictional early 1900s town of Hope Valley. Stories of romantic love, as well as love between families, neighbors, and friends, will touch your heart and encourage your soul to recognize the potential of love in your life.

Join the conversation: What wisdom has God given you recently? Tell us your story!

4 thoughts on “Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  1. Good analogy with the ships! “A ship in a harbor is safe – but that’s not what ships were built for.” I think some of us are bolder than others. We thrive on the open sea of adventure with God! But I can remember a time when life was so incredibly difficult that I needed to be in a safe harbor for a few years while recovering from one of those open-sea time – a time of battle. God provided safe harbor for me then. Eventually, he moved me out into the open sea again. There are seasons of harbor repair as well as sailing, and I think I sail better because of the repairs! Sheri


    1. Love your connections. There are seasons for everything, but sometimes we get those seasons mixed up and wonder why God is not moving us forward and the reason might be, we are not out in the open waters where we need to be. Thanks for writing. I love the conversation.


  2. Love the book of James for it deals with the issue of life and filled with insight on how to deal with those issues, great post.


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