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|When It’s My Way or No Way At All
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted Septmeber 19, 2005
We are a society used to getting things the way we want them. One hamburger chain has built an empire on giving burgers to their customers just the way they want them. You can have it your way; anyway you want it. You can have pickles (I never have seen the usefulness of a pickle on a hamburger) or not; mayo or not; lettuce or not; mustard or not. I wonder what kind of looks you would get if you ordered a hamburger all the way but told them to hold the meat.
Has this trend heightened our spoiled natures? Think with me for a moment. If we have become more spoiled, then are we more susceptible to disappointment? If we expect to win all the time or simply have things just the way we want them, then are we not opening ourselves up to greater amounts of disappointment?
Disappointment can be a very damaging feeling if left untreated. Suffer enough disappointments in life and you can become a very cynical person. Bitterness and resentment are sure to follow and become entrenched in our thought patterns. Relationships suffer and life becomes less than the joyous adventure the Lord intends for His children.
Let me illustrate. You are sure that you are going to get the promotion. You have worked extra hard and you have seniority over all those who might qualify. Finally, the day the company is to announce the position arrives. You enter work and are congratulated by your co-workers who agree you are the logical choice for the job. The boss comes in followed by a person you have never seen before. He announces that they have decided to go outside the company and bring in a new, fresh face with fresh ideas to fill the position.
You are devastated to say the least. And to add insult to injury, the boss asks you to take your new manager under your wing and show them the ropes. Decision time for the person of faith has arrived. Do you do as you are told with a positive attitude? Do you look for ways to discredit this job-stealing know-it-all? Do you march into your boss’ office and throw a fit as you throw your resignation on his desk?
The way a person of faith handles disappointment says a lot about their overall spiritual condition. In the Old Testament, king David determined in his mind to build the Lord a house. He could not bear the thought of the king living in a beautiful house of cedar while the ark of the covenant resided behind a tent of cloth. (II Samuel 7:2)
Those around the king agreed it was a good plan. While it may have been a good plan, it wasn’t a godly plan. God sent word to David through Nathan the prophet that he was not the one who would build the Lord a temple. At this point, David had a choice how he would react to this revelation. He could get mad at God, pout, and quit going to church. (Oh, that’s what we do.) He could go ahead with his plans and ignore the will of God therefore, inviting disaster. He could fire Nathan and find a prophet who would say what he wanted to hear.
Instead, David chose to do something that demonstrated why he was called a man after God’s own heart even in the face of all his mistakes. David rejoiced that one of his sons would have the opportunity to honor the Lord in this way. Read II Samuel 7:18-22. It begins with David stating, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?
David vowed to pave the way for the Temple to be built and insure his son’s success in this holy matter. He built up the treasury and amassed great wealth that was reserved for this project. In short, David acted Godly instead of allowing his disappointment to become an obstacle when God redirected his plans.
When you are faced with disappointment, let me share with you a few ways the Lord will lead:
1. Don’t take it personally. Rejoice that the Lord is there and determine you will not allow this to remove you from His will.
2. Rejoice for the ones who are being chosen. Don’t work against those the Lord wants to use to give you an opportunity to show who He is.
3. Pave the way. Be helpful even though you had a different plan.
4. There is no competition in God’s Kingdom. All you are to do is remain righteous.
5. Praise the Lord! Nothing takes away the stings of life like praise.
Disappointments will come to all of us. If you are getting mayo when you asked for mustard, ask the Lord to help you learn to like mustard. And then share the joy of mustard with others.
Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
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