“If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24, NIV 1984).
Rafael is a young Christian doctor from Peru with two kids and six months left in his training. He had been courted by a group in Idaho for a position there when he graduated. Twice the group had flown him out, the second time with his wife. They both were excited about the opportunity. Things moved fast; the group was very encouraging---but then, silence. No word for a month and then Rafael heard that a hometown girl had decided she wanted to return and take the position. Rafael was stunned. He was concerned about his job prospects. He was paying his mother’s cancer bills in Peru. He had spent all of his vacation time visiting the Idaho option with no time left for other interviews. After relating the story, he stood in my doorway and said, “I guess God has something better for me.” It was a question made as a statement. I answered, “I’m sure He does.”
Over and over again, we need to pound into our brains that our disappointments are God’s opportunities. What in the world was God doing with Rafael’s disappointment that affected so many lives?
There have been many points in my life where I have thought at the time that God had let me down, where He hadn’t come through when He could have, if He had chosen so.
Some of those points fit the analogy of Jesus as the coxswain. We are rowing with our backs to the future and only Jesus can see what’s ahead as He points the way. When we finally pass that future and look back, we then can see why our Lord has led us that way.
Other grand disappointments in my life are just left out there. I haven’t the slightest idea why God did not come through in the direction of my tears.
My head tells me that God is God and I am not---that He holds my future in wisdom and in love. Such is the way my head gets through such disappointments. That’s my head.
The only way my heart gets through a broken dream is to know the One who holds those dreams in His loving hands.
Four weeks have passed. Rafael stopped me today and told me, “The woman who was coming for that practice is going elsewhere. They asked if I would still consider coming and they sent me a contract.”
When I cannot know your plan, let me feel the loving grip of your hand.