It is easy to become bogged down in the disappointments of day-to-day life. Someone you respect falters. You unearth heart-shattering revelations about the ungodly conduct of one of your children, the one you never thought would fall. A much-anticipated baby is born far too prematurely to thrive, and you feel helpless as you watch her struggle each day for life.
Last Friday I was supposed to work and do my weekly pet therapy gig with Churchill the Wonder Dog. Instead, my husband ended up in ER with pneumonia. Today I was supposed to be backing a Grammy-winning vocalist at a convention. Instead, it is now my turn to be sick. Still it is well with my soul.
“Now listen, you who say: “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:13-14a, 15
Lately I’ve been carrying around the weight of unrequited love as I have realized my affection for someone dear to me may never be reciprocated. This too is a vapor, because I must live to please an audience of One.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
A friend called me recently to share how I could pray for her family. My heart broke for her as she shared tales of heartbreak, some man-contrived, some God-ordained. We prayed, and I shared with her a quirk of mine – how when things are worst I’m often most excited because I know that’s when God will do something big. In her valley, I suggested, the only way to look was up, and her only choice was praise.
“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
If our focus is on this life and its inhabitants, we will always be disappointed. But our lives are about so much more. The enduring reality is that those of us who trust in Christ alone are simply passersby on a journey to an unimaginable eternity.
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:5
Recently a lovely sister in Christ was slowly dying at the nursing home where I serve. My heart was to pray for her healing; her heart was to pray for God’s will. One week she was cogent and communicative; the next she was seizing and sunken. Within days she went into the arms of her Savior, to whose will she had submitted. Now her faith is made sight, and she can testify that hope does not disappoint.
Hope does not disappoint. My heart sings that refrain even after losing my birth family, even after being denied love that rightfully is mine, even after seeing hopes and dreams fade into a distant memory. Hope does not disappoint not only because of the so-much-more that is before me in eternity but because of the so-much-more that is meant for in this life. I am a daughter of the Overcomer, a child of the King. The victory is mine in Him, and I choose to claim it.
Cling to Christ, my friends, for it is impossible to cling to vapor. It simply slips through your hands.