Friday, August 13, 2010

Keeping Disappointments in Perspective

I recently got some excellent advice in a workshop I attended. I was told that whatever I do, I should commit to doing with my whole heart and to the absolute best of my ability. That makes sense to me. The problem is that after I’ve done my best I am supposed to somehow detach myself emotionally from the results. Even though that also makes sense, it is turning out to be very nearly impossible to do.

My prayer is that God will direct my steps and give me the courage to follow where He leads. So, I take a chance and knock on the door that’s in front of me. It’s easy to say that I will plant and I will water and God can be in charge of the results. In spite of my best intentions though, I find I can’t help imagining what those results might look like. Whole scenarios get played out in my dreams and even though I might appear to be carrying on with life in an ordinary way, the edges of my vision are colored with bright expectations. I know His plans for me are good so my waiting is a bubble inside that buoys up my days.

When the results of my efforts don’t turn out at all as I imagined and I am faced with a closed door instead of the path strewn with flowers that I was hoping for and more than half expecting, my bubble deflates like a worn out balloon. I am left with questions that don’t really have answers and that is cold comfort. The measure of my disappointment lets me know that I am far from emotionally detached.

That’s when I have to follow David’s example in the Psalms and remember. I remember who God is and all that He has done for me and gradually disappointment is displaced by a welling up of thanksgiving. Faith grows out of the ashes and my perspective changes. I may not be able to figure out the ‘why’ of it all. I can’t see the end from the beginning or how everything will ultimately work together for my good but I know that’s what He promises. I am at peace again.

Romans 8:28 “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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