By Julia Gervais
Planners have not one, not two, but many ‘to do lists’. It’s not usually because they are forgetful, it’s just their way of prioritizing and keeping track of their progress – tasks are crossed off once completed. They like to keep their goal in sight. Children are often asked, “What would you like to be when you grow up?” Some teenagers have an idea of their future career path, and they are offered guidance when choosing subjects which will support their goal. Irrespective of age, students are encouraged to strive for success.
The Class of 2020 did just that. Tirelessly, they made huge sacrifices for that bright future ahead. It was impossible to miss the news headlines: ‘Growing anger over unfair results this year’. It is one thing to experience the anti-climactic ending to the school year, with no exams taking place. It is quite another to feel cheated, robbed of the reward due for all their hard work. Disappointment and anger are the main emotions raging. All hopes of attending the Universities of their choice have been dashed.
Disappointment is defined as the sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations. Yet in the face of disappointment, the Bible says: “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” Jeremiah 29:11. Nobody looks forward to disappointment, although it affords countless opportunities to grow our faith. When we claim the promise in this verse, we can look ahead with the confidence that God has everything under control. Sometimes we invest heavily in the plan we have carved out for ourselves, without considering that God might just have a better plan in store. He might even agree with our plan, but have a better route for us. There are times when allowing a disappointment is the only way God gets our attention. We just need to trust Him.
I am reminded of Bill, a God-fearing construction worker, who sat to have his lunch. As he paused to thank God, a dog snatched his lunch bag and ran off. It took a lot of sprinting before Bill retrieved his meal. Shortly after, there was a loud bang and a smoky odour; he had escaped an explosion. Looking back, he thanked God for the disappointment of having his lunch snatched. It turned out to be his lifeline.
If you’re facing or are anxious about a possible disappointment, leave it in God’s hands. “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” – Philippians 4: 6-8. While we may never know if the allegations of bias have any bearing on the disappointing exam results, we can trust God and go forward in victory. We know He is a just God. I am not advocating for blind optimism, but full confidence in the one for whom nothing is impossible. God is in the driving seat, rest assured you will reach your destination.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28.
Dear Father, thank you for the promises in your Word. Please help me to focus on them and trust you when things seem to be going wrong. Remind me that your plans are much better than mine, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
This week’s song of encouragement:
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