Moving Beyond Life’s Circumstances
When you look down the road at the next twelve months, what do you see?
What weights heavy on your mind for 2013?
(Do you feel like this guy just thinking about these questions?)
…more economic uncertainty?
…concern over looming bills and less take home pay?
…a move or job change?
…a renewed sense of optimism and excitement over not-to-distant opportunities?
For our family, 2013 holds a mixed bag. We do have important career decisions that we hope will be answered. We also face the constant financial strain of the economic uncertainty while funding life and graduate school. But we have reason to be optimistic too.
Our recent trip to Iowa for Christmas provided some time for reflection regarding the year ahead. As the mile makers breezed by our 2001 Dodge Caravan along Interstate 35, I was reminded of the perilous dangers of focusing too closely upon our present circumstances.
Doing so bogs us down. It keeps our eyes focused low to the ground rather than upon the horizon. And it shatters the ever-elusive Christian virtues of joy and peace.
Maybe you’re like me in that the circumstances of life end up ruling your thoughts, emotions, and attitudes, preventing you from enjoying life’s simple joys. I know that is my default tendency.
It may have also been the default mode of those Israelites living in Jerusalem when a Galilean carpenter entered the city limits riding on a donkey. Mark records the event in the opening verses of chapter eleven.
What’s interesting is how Mark describes this event. He portrays Jesus’ “triumphal entry” in unmistakable terms: Jesus was the King of Israel.
Everything about his grand entrance was saturated in a Kingly procession. Jesus made his presence impossible to ignore. Yet that is exactly what happened. In fact, you can almost hear the wind howling through the temple courts like a barren ghost town in an old Western movie. An eery silence fills the humid Spring-time air. People, perhaps consumed by their affairs, missed the King. He stood among them, longing to draw them near, heal every pain, mend every scar, and give abundant life. But they quietly continued about their business and rejected their King.
It would be appalling if only it weren’t so true.
Every moment of our lives, Jesus stands ready to receive all our concerns and unspoken anxieties. He waits ever so patiently for us to recognize His Kingship. Yet how often do we allow the tyranny of the urgent to miss his quiet, persistent presence?
The question is whether we’ll repeat Israel’s mistake. Will we be so consumed with our present circumstances that we ignore King Jesus?
My suggestion, then, is to resolve to make Jesus King of your circumstances this week and every week thereafter for 2013.
Let him run your finances, reign over your career choices, and rule over those exciting new opportunities. Trust that everything that happens occurs at God’s sovereign design.
Every traffic light, conversation, inconvenience, joy, and circumstance.
Do not look to people or government to solve your current crisis; they won’t and they can’t. Let the King take care of your needs. Learn to rest in his faithful promises.
On those days when I get it right, there is an immovable sense of peace and joy that delights the Father’s heart. I just wish I could get it right more often!
So may 2013 be a year in which you learn to delight the Lord by making His Son King over your circumstances. The greatest benefit of applying this principle is that regardless of what lies ahead, you’ll never lose your joy or peace!