Too Much Time Licking Our Wounds

There was a time in my life when there was so much disappointment that it’s all I ever expected. I refused to ever get my hopes up about anything. By nature, I’m a dreamer, but it seemed that whenever I became optimistic, my dreams were ultimately doused by the reality of disappointment and despair. The first time that I realized this pattern of let-downs was when I was much younger. It started in junior high school. All the popular kids were artistic and creative, and I somehow got it into my head that I could be one of them. I figured I’d try-out for the drama club my sophomore year.  I rehearsed and fantasized about how my audition would captivate the audience, and I would stun the panel with all the talent I’d hidden away. No one knew my name or even cared much to know it, but I was going to change this. Each student trying out for the club would need to pantomime something, and I pulled “toothache” out of the hat. I put on quite the performance, and the more folks chuckled, the louder I became. I had absolutely no idea that a pantomime was supposed to be without speech. My ignorance had been the fodder for their laughter. Needless to say, I wasn’t chosen, and drama was not my thing.

Nothing prepares us for how hurtful it can be to bump our heads repeatedly against the wall of our circumstances, and it still not budge. But the older we become, the more we should realize that we’re really not calling the shots in the way we think. In Hebrews 12:1, God calls out the records of ordinary individuals that accomplished extraordinary things for His Kingdom. He refers to them as the ‘great cloud of witnesses.’ When it comes to real life dramas, they set the stage for us, and demonstrated how to be unmovable on God’s Word and fully persuaded in His promises.

Through the Apostle Paul, God also gives us a strategy for handling all those disappointments that can sometimes come with life. He tells us to strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that easily trips us up. This is something many of us are not too fond of doing. We’ve got some habits, negative attitudes, relationships, situations, and people that weigh us down. But we like having them around, and we don’t like the idea of having to change or get rid of our stuff. Heavenly Father knows this, and He is very patient with us. He waits until we see very clearly that in order to go higher and further, some of the things we are carrying will need to be released.

Like the great cloud of witnesses, Heavenly Father also expects you and I to run with patience the race that He has set before us. You and I don’t set the race, God does this. In Ephesians 1:11, He informs that He etched our destinies in stone long before we ever arrived on the scene. He tells us that He chose us and properly fitted us for His plan, and He works out everything to conform to the purpose of His own Will. This doesn’t mean that you and I are walking around like robots. That’s not what Heavenly Father wants at all. We are a part of His family. We’re His children, and as His children, He expects us to have His nature and represent the Kingdom of our birth.

The two things that give us direction in life is our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and our purpose in God’s Will. In Hebrews 12:2(NLT), Heavenly Father tells us how to stay on the path of purpose, and in the race He has specifically set for us, so that our relationship with Him grows continually. He tells us, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” In my naivete as a young person, I thought I had all the answers about making my life better. I didn’t know that God had a purpose for me, and I had no clue that by keeping my eyes on Jesus Christ, I could have the more than abundant life that he made available.

It is no secret to anyone that life can throw some serious curve balls, and that it can really knock the wind out of you. Hebrews 12:6-7(NLT) tells us, “For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children.” Sometimes, we head in the wrong direction, and instead of seeking God to follow our purpose in His Will, we seek other things; we seek our own way. The end result of doing this can bring about disappointment, heartache, or worse. God allows these bumps and knocks because they discipline us to recognize what happens when we’re not putting Him first. The key is not to spend so much time licking our wounds, but to begin asking God questions that will redirect us according to His Will. Then we must be humble to obey, because when we are committed to obedience, He promises to direct us on the right path.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Too Much Time Licking Our Wounds”, written by JMack,© 2021. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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