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Only God Sees Around Corners

Several years ago, when we had just begun our year-long home assignment in California, Gil and I found out about a ministry opportunity that would have provided us with free housing and a stipend for the time we were in the States.

It seemed absolutely perfect to us. We were incredibly excited by the opportunity, and it seemed like an exact fit with our passion and experience. But we were too late. We didn't find out about it in time, and by the time we applied, they decided not to keep the position open.

We were bitterly disappointed. And I wondered, Why would God show us an opportunity that seemed so perfect, only to take it away? What was even the point of letting us see it in the first place, if he wasn't going to make it happen?

I've wondered that a lot of times since then.

As a principal at HOPAC, I am up close and personal with the recruiting process, which is gut-wrenching, to say the least. I've lost track now of how many times it's happened: We interview someone amazing; everyone is ecstatic that such a cool person is interested in HOPAC; we all get our hopes up.....and then for some reason or another, it doesn't work out. It happened to me twice in the last two weeks.

And I wonder, Why is God getting our hopes up if we're just going to be disappointed in the end? Why dangle a carrot in front of our noses if he's just going to yank it away?

And I don't know why. So I sit here in a funk, kind of mad at God for making me think he's answering my prayers when instead I imagine him saying, "Haha! Made you look!"

Except I am not God. And I don't know what he's thinking; I just need to trust he knows what he is doing. He's got a million moving pieces; how dare I question him on what he's doing with each one? Here I am focusing only on how I personally am affected by the disappointment--how God let me down. But what if the situation wasn't about me? What if he needs me to trust him with this disappointment because it was a necessary part of what he is doing in another person's life?

Or, what if that disappointment is, in the end, saving me from something far more tragic? What if that disappointment is actually an expression of God's mercy, but I, like the screaming toddler, throw a fit when her mother yanks away the luscious-looking, but deadly poisonous berries?

Andree Seu Peterson writes, "Only God sees around corners, and therefore it is very wise to not try to figure out our own way to happiness and safety by relying on our own understanding and worldly wiles. The wise person will trust in God’s ways and stick to them, knowing that life can get messy in the middle, because the person who makes God his trust, the story will turn out well in the end, in the very, very end."




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