We received disappointing news yesterday. The kind of news that has the potential to leave one with more questions than answers, more confusion than calm. A revelation of sorts that could even quite possibly steal God-given joy…if one chooses to allow it.
Yesterday brought a flurry of emotions that have become all too familiar over the past year. Uncertainty. Doubt. Fear. Confusion. And for a moment - and maybe even two- I found myself reacting in a habitual and sinful manner that only those who like to be in control would understand. How do I fix it? Who do we call? What are our options? These frantic questions, of course, direct the next unstoppable impulse, which is to do something NOW.
Unfortunately, and through difficult life lessons, I have learned first hand the outcome one can expect with this particular train of thought and subsequent reaction. Fear and uncertainty leads to anxiety. Anxiety tricks you into thinking you can maintain control. Your control results in an outcome that may take a step forward from a temporal, worldly point of view, but really only accomplishes two steps backwards from an eternal, Godly point of view. This approach declares to all those watching that I can do it on my own.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Old habits die hard. It takes secular restraint and spiritual focus to move in a direction I know will lead to the place that offers the peace that surpasses all understanding. I have to recall each and every occasion that God has proven Himself faithful, even when I could only envision disastrous results. I have to recollect the mediocre plans I had for my own life that were replaced with plans beyond my wildest imaginings. I have to look behind me for reassurances of what is ahead.
I have to remember.
"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds." (Psalm 77:11-12)
I have witnessed personally, as all believers will in their lifetime, the way in which God will work things out for good even when things don’t look so great.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Troubles will come our way – broken relationships, sick children, unstable finances, untimely deaths – but we can find stability and comfort in the way we respond. Relinquishing the control and the outcome to God allows His presence, power and purpose to be discovered even in the worst of circumstances.
And that’s an outcome that never disappoints.