I read a comment on social media today, something along the lines of ‘Can we agree that anyone’s answer in 2015 to the question “What do you see yourself doing in five year’s time?” was wrong?’
Pretty much sums it up.
It will be hard to think of another time when we all have such a shared experience of plans that have not worked out the way we expected them to.
Disciples of Jesus do not find their peace or security in our circumstances.
Rather we have a peace and security that is lived out whatever our circumstances.
But that peace and security is not automatic.
It is a choice we make as we follow Jesus.
From Paul Mallard’s book Invest Your Disappointments.
We cannot control the external circumstances of our lives.
This is the clear and demonstrative theme of the Bible.
Disappointment is inevitable, because we never quite achieve the things we aim for. The things we had hoped for either fail to materialise, or they fail to satisfy, or the fail to last. Whether they are legitimate and wholesome, or sinful and harmful, nothing short of God will ever satisfy. We know this, by we constantly forget it and find ourselves stranded on Disappointment Island yet again. What we expected just does not match what we actually find. Job speaks of those who trust in anything but God:
‘What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web. They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold.’ (Job 8:14-15)
What a powerful picture of the insubstantiality of human dreams – a flimsy cobweb that will not bear the weight entrusted to it. Catch a glimpse of a sunbeam refracted through a raindrop on a cobweb, and it looks substantial and beautiful. But he wind blows and all is gone. Such is life with all its hopes and joys.
We cannot control the external circumstances of our lives. But we can control our reaction to them. With God’s help, we can control our hearts.
Paul Mallard, Invest Your Disappointments, IVP, 2018, pgs 151-152.