Dealing With Disappointment
I need to preach to me tonight! I am feeling some disappointment. This trip has been planned around Barbara and I coming up the Hudson River getting to see the Statue of Liberty and New York City from the boat. We've done the ferry but this would be extra special! Because the lock #17 in Little Falls, NY is down, we may be stuck from a day or two to a week or two. This lock was built in 1901 and chose the day we needed to pass through to break! Now, Barbara and I can change our flights from NYC to Albany and go home at the same time. Without a miracle, real soon, we will miss out on the Hudson River. We both need to go home and we are so sad and disappointed. But we, like always, have had a great time anyway. This trip gives new meaning to, "if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise."
Who hasn't made plans that did not work out? It has happened to all of us many times and there will be many more disappointments. There are much bigger disappointments out there and I know that. Today I reminded myself I have a choice to make. I can be disappointed and let it dominate my countenance or I can choose joy. I know to choose joy I have to turn to God in prayer and thank Him for leading me where I need to go and when.
There is an old Yiddish proverb, “We plan, God laughs." Proverbs 16: 9, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." We make future plans to achieve our goals but God is the one who directs our path. He establishes the steps we take.
Being wise includes making plans and I believe God designed us to think and gave us free will. Think about Paul. He spoke often of plans to visit certain churches but Scripture shows not all were accomplished. Even though they were good plans, not all came to fruition because God was the one that directed his path. On one occasion Paul's plans were changed by the Holy Spirit when God told him to go, instead, to Macedonia. Paul's plans were good and worthy, but God changed them so he could go and share the gospel with people somewhere else. That could be the difference in someones eternal address! Wouldn't I hate to think I got my selfish desires in the way of that?!
If we are living by faith and trusting God, He will guide us the best way. We must recognize that sometimes God permits our plans to move forward, sometimes He may overrule it and sometimes He may even advance it. In either case, it is a comfort for us to know that while we have free will to make our plans, God will direct us in the best way. Jeremiah 29: 11, "'For 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.'"
Thanks. I choose joy. God may have some big something for me to do that will permit me from being on the Hudson. He may be keeping me from harm's way. I may need to be home on time. I may never know why but I will trust Him. If the Lord's willing and the creek don't rise...