The beloved lead character in the 1994 film Forrest Gump said the following quote, "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna’ get." Now, the chocolate connoisseur side of me would have to somewhat disagree with the part of the quote that says, "Life is like a box of chocolates." Because, as opposed to life, when I take a bite of a piece of chocolate from the assortment in my box, if I don't like the flavor or filling of the one I just selected, I can throw it away. Never completely consuming the piece, all because I simply didn't like it.
However, life is not so. Sometimes, things do happen that we don't expect. Some amazingly good. And some things absolutely devastating. But, unlike an unwanted, half-eaten piece from a box of chocolates, I can’t throw away the unfavorable and keep sampling until I get to something I really like.
Wouldn't it be great if we could? What if we could say to God, when unexpected, unfavorable circumstances arise, "God, I don't like this. Let me try something a little easier." "Maybe something that's not so painful." And, wouldn't it be even more amazing, if He honored our requests and the test or trial was immediately over?
But, life is not like a box of chocolates, in the sense that, we don't get to pick and choose the unexpected moments of surprise. Moments that can take our breath away because they are so beautiful or moments that bring us to our knees, because they can be so devastating.
And, even though things happen in our lives that may take us by surprise, they never take God by surprise.
Let's talk about Job from the bible for a minute. Job's life handed him numerous surprises that were difficult to bear. If he could have said to God, "Thanks, but, no thanks." I'm sure he would have.
His livestock was stolen. His children and servants killed. Then his body was covered from head to toe with boils. Job lost everything. He even found himself at a place where he couldn't sense the presence of God
But in the midst of all of the personal tragedies in his life, Job was able to say these words;
“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. (Job 23:10 NLT)
So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny. (Job 23:14 NLT)
Wow! Job was a man of great faith who was committed to his God. And, he also knew that even in the crucibles of life, God knew the plans that He had for him.
Job found comfort and hope in knowing that God alone controlled his destiny, and that nothing he was experiencing took God by surprise.
God wants us, in those difficult moments that life can bring, to find hope in knowing that He controls our destiny.
We have to believe that God still loves us in the trying moments and that He has purposed good for our lives.
Job still maintained his faith. And, he still believed that even after the test, he would see the work and hand of God on his life.
We must believe that all things, good things or unfavorable things, work together for our good. Though I do know it can sometimes be difficult.
But, we must maintain our faith and our hope.
(13)[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living! (14)Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. (Psalm 27:13, 14 AMP)
Don't lose your hope in God. When you lose your hope, it can cause your faith to diminish.
God is with you, even when circumstances are not so sweet. Even when you don't feel Him or sense his presence.
Even when everything inside of you is screaming, "God take this cup away from me!" He already knew what you would have to walk through. And He's right there, walking step by step with you.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2 NLT)
Even though you never know what you're gonna’ get in this life, remain at peace knowing God does and He controls your destiny.
Father, today I ask that can have the attitude of Job. Knowing that whatever I'm walking through right now has not taken you by surprise. Help me to hope and trust in you.