“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
It has been a while since I wrote a blog post because every time I would begin one, it just never felt right. I never felt like I had clarity or knew what needed to be said. I could tell that God was teaching me something but I couldn’t quite figure out exactly what that was.
Throughout the beginning of this year, I have faced my fair share of disappointments. Nothing devastating, but things that I thought were going to be good or work out, but ultimately just did not. I think that last year taught me strength and how to persevere through trials, but lately I have been learning to add on that. How to persevere, but do it with grace trusting that the Lord is by my side all the way.
Through each disappointment, I felt like God was whispering “I am all you need.” That phrase has really made me begin thinking about all the ways that we replace satisfaction in God with hope in the world. I have seen most of my disappointment and hurt come from me placing hope in earthly things that I decide will be good for me, and then watching them fall apart. When things are going super well for me, I tend to forget that I am in desperate need of God. It is easy when we are surrounded by such good things, to forget that our hope should be in the giver of these things. I see myself place my hope in family members, friends/relationships, financial security, and most of all the comforts of home. It is so easy for us to look at the people that we are surrounded by and place our hope in them. I never realized how much of my hope and comfort that I put in other people until I was faced with living by myself for a short period of time. During that time, I realized how much security I find in the people around me and rather being confident in who I am and who Christ is for me. I often questioned how I was going to make it through that period of time but God continued to give me peace as He showed me that I am absolutely nothing apart from Him.
I have to stop and ask myself if all of the things that make me so comfortable like my family, friends, home, and health were taken away, would I find my ultimate satisfaction in Christ? Is my satisfaction found in Christ or the present circumstances in my life? It is so humbling to step back and look at all that I have been given and remember that it is all there because of the relentless love of God. Sometimes I think God asks us questions like:
When you get this diagnosis will your hope still be in me?
When you lose someone you care about, will your hope still be in me?
When you lose your job, do you still trust me to take care of you?
When the earth seems to be crumbling underneath your feet, am I still all you need?
If you don’t have clean drinking water or a roof over your head, will you still hope in me?
I was having a conversation with a good friend and she mentioned how easy it is to be hopeful in the fact that we will spend eternity with Christ, but many times it is difficult to be hopeful in the present circumstances. It is important that we hope in God in the present as well as in the future. He is giving us himself right now, not just in eternity.
I don’t think that we ever intentionally do it but when things are going well and relationships are so satisfying, we begin to not be able to picture ourselves without them. I think that it is important that we remember that things can change in an instant. I don’t think that we should live in fear or continuously be looking for things to go wrong but we should rather be placing our ultimate hope and satisfaction in our Savior. I think that it is funny that we live so blindly, sometimes acting like nothing will ever change. I think that sometimes God takes away to pull us closer to Him.
When faced with disappointment, we have to remember that people are flawed, every single one of us. Even the people that we hold closest to us, are flawed and are going to disappoint us and we will likely do the exact same thing to them. When we place our hope in the unchanging steadiness of God, we are reminded that we are not alone. I am thankful that I have a Savior to cling to when life disappoints. There is a quote from Lysa Terkeurst that says, “When my identity is tied to circumstances I become extremely insecure because circumstances are unpredictable and ever-changing…We must tied our identities to our unchanging, unflinching, unyielding, undeniably good, and unquestionably loving God.” I love that so much. When I place my hope (or in this case identity) in anything other than God, I will be disappointed.
A couple weeks ago, there were a lot of things going on and it just seemed like one thing kept piling up after the other. I would feel like I got a handle on one situation and then all of the sudden, something else would flare up. It got to the point where I was just sitting in my car upset and just having to confess to God that I give up. I knew that I could not handle it on my own anymore. It is amazing because God always responds in some way, whether we see it immediately or not. On that day, He gently reminded me that all the things that I am worried about can be taken away in a second, but that He is all I need. We so often try and manage the things in front of us and think that if we can just get a handle on them then we will be fine. How different would our lives be if we let God have every single situation? What if we stopped and genuinely let God have every situation no matter how big or small, because He can handle it. We have a trustworthy Savior. I am so thankful for a God whose kindness leads me to repent and place my trust in Him.