Our cat managed to get into a rabbit cage and killed the father of this cute family pictured - he looked much like the mother rabbit on the right. Disappointing for my son, who has started breeding these Netherland Dwarfs. Boo-hoo
A huge window which hadn't been re-secured after it's look-alikes were moved to begin construction of my new glasshouse blew over in the wind, smashing down on a pile of other windows, breaking several. Sigh
I'd JUST got to the really good part of my new book to find 50 pages missing...a printing error. Doh!
The garden has been mocking me with all the jobs I haven't gotten done in the last month or so - especially the harvesting that needs to happen before we get frosts, and the planting that should have happened before it got cold. Sigh
The lady who asked me to hold a desk she wanted to buy from me changed her mind but didn't bother to let me know. Ah well.
During the night there was a huge crash from the kitchen....my darling husband dealt with it....discovered this morning that the glass lid of my favorite casserole dish had been knocked off the dish, which was resting on the stove, by a cat and smashed all over the floor. Took me 3 or 4 years to find that replacement lid in the first place, after the original broke. Sigh. That will teach me to go to bed without doing the dishes, just this once, since we got home at midnight.
And so on. As I said, nothing earth-shattering, but when a day is filled with a procession of these little disappointments, it's easy to become discouraged! And doesn't the enemy like to use these little bumps in life's road to shove a few more darts at our minds and hearts?
"Hah! Why did you even bother getting out of bed this morning?"
"See, nothing ever goes right for you!"
"If God REALLY loved you, this kind of stuff wouldn't happen"
"You're so behind, it's all your fault. And you'll never catch up!"
"You are such a failure! If you'd only.....you could have prevented....."
"And don't forget, you don't have any money to buy another....."
"What's the point? Why keep struggling? Why don't you just give up?"
And suddenly, a few disappointments can become the tipping point that spills over into frustration, anger, blame (towards self and/or God and others), depression, sadness...even suicidal thoughts, especially if it feels like these kinds of things seem to happen all the time....
"But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us...." (2 Cor 7:6)
God loves us, and loves to encourage us, and there is no better place to find his words of encouragement that in his Word!
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear [sisters], stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (I Cor 15:55-58)
God never promised there would not be troubles, trials and disappointments in this world - in fact Jesus specifically warned that there would be: "I have told you these things that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33)
Therein is the contrast - yep, this world is full of troubles. Things can and will go wrong. But we can take heart from the fact that Jesus has overcome this world - and this world is not all there is! It is but a temporary situation, a temporary dwelling place, until that wonderful day when Jesus comes back, and we get to dwell with him in glory forever!
Romans 8:28-39 is a must read passage if you're in need of encouragement! Here are some highlights...
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.....What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?......Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, or hardship, or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?.....No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us....nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God!" (Emphasis mine)
God loves you and me sooooo much! Neither the troubles of this world, or the lies of the enemy will ever change that. The Psalms are a great place to find encouragement too. Psalm 10: 17 assures us "You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry."
I thank God that, no matter what each day holds, he loves me, and is with me. There may come disappointments and trials, but he is with me always, and will never leave nor forsake me. None of these things can truly take me down, because even in days filled with disappointments, there are always blessings too, if we have eyes to see them.
Yesterday, our new neighbour was finally able to come and say hi, and we enjoyed some interesting conversation with him. My son was blessed with an extra day's work in town. The baby my daughter cares for here slept well at nap time, and was particularly happy the rest of the day. My husband and I were able to go out for dessert and a movie last night. And then there are the many blessings of a warm fire, food to eat, family and home.
Put in perspective, yesterday's disappointments were really nothing. Or perhaps they were something - an opportunity to practice the right point of view - of seeing life through the eyes of faith and the lens of God's Word, so that when the really difficult trials come along, we already have the right habits and understandings in place to help us through those trials.
"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 2 Thess 2:16-17
And remember, one day soon...
"He will wipe every tear from [our] eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things [will have] passed away" Rev 21:4
Tomorrow is a whole new day....and His mercies are new every morning!