The great American philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “Prediction is very bad, especially when it’s about the future.”
I was speaking to a friend who had just attended a seminar by an investment brokerage firm about the need for long-term planning. The more you sacrifice today and put money aside, the better off you will be financially when you reach retirement. No brainer! I agree. In fact, you can almost predict the future—if you sacrifice now, things will be better off tomorrow!
I think God is like that, too! He is more concerned with our long-term plans than He is about our current situation. A little pain now (sometimes a lot of pain now) will do us good and prepare us for the retirement we call eternity. We can each look back on rough days with hindsight and see how it was those times that our character was built stronger, our ability to handle problems improved, and our learning to not sweat the small stuff grew.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
When our pain is in the past, it is easier to take a long-term view of what we gained from our experience. However, it is hard to see the benefits, hard to see the value from the pain we are in today; right now, all we see is the pain! Without question, God is the ultimate long-range planner. His purposes encompass the whole range from eternity to eternity and extend to every part of His dominion. From a short-range perspective, things may appear to be out of control, but God is ordering all things in such a way that they will reach a glorious conclusion.
So today, Lord, we give You thanks for the pain of the past, in which we grew in our character and strength. We also give You thanks for the pain of today. We pray for the strength of faith so that we can keep the long-term plan in focus and not be distracted by the short-term issues that we are dealing with. Lord, help us to keep faith in our trials. Amen.
Have a great return on your day.