The magnet on my refrigerator speaks to me. Oh, not about dieting, though I could use some reinforcement in that area, but about life. It reads, “Life is all about how you handle Plan B.”
My interpretation: Be prepared for Plan B!
In this broken world, with its increasing challenges, any sense of control is fleeting. Plan A is often an illusion. Therefore, anticipating Plan B will maintain equilibrium and prevent me from going negative with disappointment.
I bought that magnet in a hotel gift shop over 10 years ago. My husband and I were away from home for what was supposed to be a care-free birthday weekend. Not! As problematic situations piled up and my spirit plummeted, I was left to pick up the pieces of my shattered expecta-tions. Then, when I noticed this simple magnet on a shelf alongside touristy trinkets, I knew its message was for me. I needed the timely reminder to assist me in rising above unexpected problems and obstacles.
What about you? Are disappointments often your downfall?
As a child I collected disappointments like a toddler accumulates bruises; not because I wanted them, but because they happened frequently. I wanted my life to be more predictable, more affirming. As children tend to do, I felt disappointments deeply. By nature a sensitive child with a caring heart, I was ill-equipped to handle the disillusionment that regularly threatened my cheerfulness. Like many raised in homes where emotional pain and alcohol permeates relationships, I tended to catalogue promises broken, constantly aware of unfulfilled hopes and expectations.
But God! When Christ came into my life, He warned me about letting bitterness and resentment roost in my heart. Disappointment, when submitted to our loving Heavenly Father can mean new growth and a deeper hope.
In fact, that’s the basis for the “pruning” He does in our lives. We are not the masters of our ships as we so often suppose. He is constantly orchestrating the moments of our days to draw us to Himself. Through disappointment we learn to look to God for help, depending on Him to clear our path and provide new opportunities. Jesus said in the Book of John, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
Just recently, events in my life led me down a path of discouragement that felt overwhelming. I was again in a place where I needed to trust God to bring a better “good” from the unforeseen circumstances. Isn’t that what faith is all about?
Maybe you’re stuck in a similar situation. If relationships, finances, health issues or just plain sin has you discouraged or disillusioned, cry out to God who is always faithful. Ask Him for the grace to forgive those who have wounded you. Exercise your faith, and trust that He is indeed working out everything for your ultimate good… conforming you to the image of His Son, Jesus.
Take comfort today from His eternal words that proclaim: "The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17