Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Have you ever had things that you wanted to do and suddenly they don’t work? They don’t work anymore or you dropped literally something on the floor in pieces. I said in Part 1 that there are lessons we can learn about this. The first I said was that life is not perfect. The second thing I want to say is that you are not perfect.
2. Whether you like it or not, you are not infallible
That’s right, at some point, you will fail. We all do. As much as you may spend countless hours trying to present yourself as perfect—trying to prove to the world that you have it all together—the truth is no-one does. And it is in accepting your faults, that you gain strength—because you no longer have to hide them. You also come to recognise that you experience both tremendous failures and extraordinary triumphs. And sometimes one comes right after the other.
3. You might have been on the wrong path
Sometimes it isn’t until your path is blocked that you consider it may not be the right path. It’s not easy to realise, I have been travelling the wrong road in my life. Often, it isn’t until you can’t go in the direction you had been going in that you stop to consider if you ever really wanted to go that way anyway.
Maybe it isn’t until what you thought mattered is now no longer possible that you realise it didn’t really matter at all. And instead, something entirely different—that you had never realised before—is what is most important. It’s never too late to stop and do some serious thinking about where you’re going in life.
4. Relationships matter more than you thought
You may have sacrificed being home, or spent less time with the family, or not been enjoying the company of good friends too much, because you got wrapped up in your job, your responsibilities, your goals—the things you thought mattered. And yet when your world falls apart, none of these ‘things’ are going to provide you any relief. Because they are just things.
They are not people, and as much as you think you love them, they are not going to love you back. They are not a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand, or a friend to confide in. And they will not get you through the worst of times. Instead it is the relationships you build, nurture and maintain that will sustain you when you most need it.
5. You better believe
And this is where God comes in. I’m not talking about church, but a direct and personal relationship with a loving Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ his Son. And you may not think faith matters one bit. But hope in something or someone bigger than you does. Because when things falls apart, when the odds seem insurmountable, there will be times you don’t think you can ever make it through, and you better find something to offer some hope.
It is this very hope in God that propels you on when you think you can’t go anymore. And you may just learn that you are stronger than you think you are.
So, try and remember this one thing: God is still in control. When our dreams are shattered it often leaves us devastated, confused and upset. Sometimes we might be tempted to think that God has forgotten about us and about our dreams. We might even wonder if God has forgotten about the things he promised us in his Word. He controls your plans and their successful launch. He can still be trusted going forward.
Just because things have not worked out according to your timetable is no reason to quit trusting him. Trust the Lord with a re-engineered plan that will be better than the old one. His ways are much better than your ways. That’s exactly the meaning of Isaiah 55:8-9: “The Lord says ‘My thoughts and my ways are not like yours. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours’”.
God is still in control
Only God can mend your brokenness. He is the Potter and his speciality is moulding us and shaping us. We read in Job 17:11: “My days are passed; my plans have been shattered; along with my heart’s desires.” But Job came through an incredible experience of personal loss and devastation, to praise God for his love and care. It’s never easy. Psalm 34:18 says: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Broken plans sometimes have tragic surroundings. Although no-one was near enough to hear it, it ultimately echoed around the world. None of the passengers in the DC-4 ever knew what happened; they died instantly. That was February 15, 1947. The Avianca Airline flight bound for Quito, Ecuador, crashed clumsily into the 14,000 foot-high towering peak of El Tablazo not far from Bogota. Then it dropped, a flaming mass of metal, into a ravine far below.
A young New Yorker, Glenn Chambers, was one of its victims. He planned to begin a Christian ministry with the Voice of the Andes, a lifelong dream that suddenly aborted into a nightmare.
Before leaving the Miami Airport earlier that day, Chambers hurriedly dashed off a note to his mother on a piece of paper he found on the floor of the terminal. That scrap of paper was once a printed piece of advertisement with the single word WHY sprawled across the centre.
But between the mailing and the delivery of that note, Chambers was killed. When the letter did arrive, there staring up at his mom was the haunting question why? Of all the questions it is the most searching, the most tormenting. No single truth removes the need to ask why? How do you answer a questions like that?
Lord, I don’t understand why this has happened to me. I never wanted this, but it has happened nonetheless. I am here before you now to ask for your help. Even though I cannot see it, I know that you have something better for me than I had planned for myself. Please give me grace to believe it and faith to see it.