Monday, March 5, 2012

When Life’s Not Worked Out As Expected

There are circumstances that prevent us from becoming the people we feel we were always meant to be. As we look back over the significant portion of our lives, perhaps we’re over the stinging regret and look more philosophically at what we missed. Maybe those missed opportunities, which never really presented, or did present but the timing wasn’t right, still glow brightly within our consciousness. Or perhaps we lost a loved one far too prematurely, or suffered a marriage breakdown. Perhaps it was several or all of these things.

There are all manner of losses we experience. Life doesn’t work out as we expect it to. Our romantic notions of—“And they lived happily ever after”—get right-sized against the harsh rays of the sun of life as they beat down over us, continually day after tiresome day.

For believers, especially, this issue—the passions on our hearts—is a special test we all have, and it’s from God.

How So, From God?

To grow through situations of calling we can’t approach right now—nor ever again or ever—is about going through a fiery furnace of character refinement.

As sad as it seems, we’ll all be tested by envy, jealousy, and disappointment.

Many believers and nonbelievers alike think it’s warped of God to be so cruel as to mandate such horrible emotions, making them so commonly experienced in the minds and hearts of all people. On the one hand God has given us these good desires that we now find the fulfilment of which are blocked. On the other hand there may be no way to fulfil these healthy desires; especially as it presents to the persons who’ve lost something (or someone) that cannot ever be regained.

We struggle tremendously believing that God could be behind all these things. Yet our happiness and comfort, though they’re important to God, are not the most important things. What sort of world would we live in if everyone got their own way and no one lost anyone or anything? We actually learn more dealing with hard things than when things are easy.

God won’t give us everything we want, so the things we do get we truly appreciate.

Accepting The Confused Reality Within Our World

It’s bizarre that God impresses on our hearts certain desires, but then places us in a world that will not satisfy all, or even most, of these desires. This will frustrate every single one of us. But frustration is not where it’s intended to end. It’s intended that we get beyond our frustration—that we take the confused world and set ourselves happily within it.

The achievement of this sense of acceptance of the many things we cannot have is the tempering of our passion, and the honing of our spirits. These things are the making of the true us—the one that’s still being formed.

God doesn’t want to frustrate us for the sake of frustration alone, but to grow us through such challenge.

***

God won’t give us everything we want, so the things we do get we truly appreciate. Frustration is the vehicle intended to take us to mature acceptance. When we understand the purpose in frustration, life suddenly becomes much easier.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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