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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Let down... and thankful for it

This has been an odd day for me. I had some business in Greensboro during the morning and first part of the afternoon and barely got back before it started snowing again. The local meteorologists this morning called for "an inch" at most of the white stuff accumulating but as I look out my window it's more like 2 inches and still climbing.

It would have been almost perfect were it not for the less-than-encouraging news that arrived to me today. About how a potentially very neat opportunity that I was set to go to some drastic extremes to pursue... won't be happening now after all.

But it's the funniest thing: in spite of how big a loss this is for me, I haven't felt disappointed by it at all.

Ten years ago there was another opportunity that I very nearly had in my grasp, only to watch it also be taken away. At the time it devastated me. And the one now was vastly greater than that one had been.

But this afternoon and evening, I haven't felt fazed by it at all.

Why? What's the difference between then and now?

I would have to say that I am at a place now in my life where I can definitely look back and see that instead of setting value of my happiness on my terms, I am now letting it abide with God and what He would have for me. His expectations are not my own... and I'm now thankful for that.

Hey, ten years ago I didn't know what the heck I was doing, fresh out of college and then hit with one disaster after another. If anyone had told me then about the things that were going to happen in my life afterward, I would have looked at that person as if he had grown three heads and purple feathers.

It hasn't been a perfect ride... but it's been an awesome ride all the same. If God can do it before, He can do it again and even more amazing the next time.

I have faith that God is taking me somewhere. That He has barely begun the work of the life of Chris Knight. I'm not saying that it's going to happen tomorrow or soon, and I don't want to either. Many years after the Vietnam War, Admiral James Stockdale spoke about his eight years as a POW and who among his comrades didn't survive...

"Oh, that's easy, the optimists. They were the ones who said, We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come and go. Then they’d say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart."
So what was it that let Stockdale have the strength to endure that unspeakable hardship?

"I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that we would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event in my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."
Wherever we are now, each of us, along the path of life: this is not the destination. It's not even close to where God has in store for us. This is just preparation for the journey ahead. And we shouldn't let the disappointments of the moment deter us from the greater things still to come.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..."

-- Jeremiah 29:11

My plans for now are kaput. But His plans are still unfolding.

And if for no other reason, that is why I am feeling joyful tonight :-)


Larissa said...

God is using you already, Chris. You have a gift for sharing your feelings and for sharing Christ in your words.

Your time is coming Chris. God is using you now but he will do even greater things with your life and you will be happier than you've ever dreamed :)

Anonymous said...

This is a great message Chris. Thank you for sharing it!