May 7, 2019

“Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul!”

Two of my siblings and I shared a car when we were in college, a green Subaru we named Kermit, because of its similarity to Kermit the Frog. Kermit was dependable, but it had no air conditioner, and the radio wasn’t reliable either! Our younger brothers inherited Kermit when we all graduated, so that little car was at OU for at least 12 years; it should have been awarded a diploma! One reason we enjoyed Kermit was because we knew it wasn’t our permanent vehicle! When we graduated from college, we’d each be able to buy a better vehicle; one with air conditioning, a good radio and cruise control!

I was at a retail store yesterday and there were problems. They had too few checkout lines open and the lines were long. I really needed the items I’d found, so I was stuck there! The lady in front of me was angry and wanted everyone to know it. The man behind me finally dumped his items on a nearby shelf and departed, spewing an unkind phrase as he exited. The poor overworked clerk was beside herself because she knew folks were unhappy. It was an uncomfortable situation, made worse by the attitudes of those affected. However, I’d guess that the extra 5-10-minute wait in line really caused no life-altering situation for anyone; it was just inconvenient at the time!

Of course, big things do happen that make time seem to stop: the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a serious illness, divorce… These and other heart-wrenching times can cause us to lose sight of the fact that they’re only temporary. We will see our loved ones again. God will make a way for us to provide for our family. Illnesses can be cured. There is life after divorce. In God’s Word, we’re told that life won’t be easy: John 16:33 says “…In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” What a beautiful scripture, full of the HOPE we have through Jesus!

When I’m bothered by things life throws my way, I often pray, “free me for joyful obedience, Lord!” Whatever my situation, I pray to be able to realize it’s only temporary. God has promised each of us a bright, pain-free future when we get to Heaven. But I don’t want to wait until I’m in Heaven to live joyfully! I want to live a joy-filled life today and share this joy with others. Amid the hurt, when we remember it’s only temporary, we can be freed for joyful obedience; “whatever the lot”!

-Susan Easttom, Director of Family Ministries