The loss and sadness that I have experienced could bring one of two things.
One, I could, as Henri Nouwen says, “become accustomed to living with sadness” and let it define my future. Or, I could recognize the great goodness that has always been open to me in God’s kingdom.
Being accustomed to living with sadness comes about by putting myself at the center of the universe and thus dictating that the only way to experience gladness is through good, and only good things, happening to me. When bad things happen, I will no doubt despair because my place at the center of everything means that what happens to me is of foremost importance and the only thing that can dictate my mood and disposition.
Andrew Murray once said that, “we find the Christian life so difficult because we seek for God’s blessing while we live in our own will. We should be glad to live the Christian life according to our own liking.” Not making Christ the center of our universe and living out of our own focus will only lead to frustration because our ways are not God’s ways and we lack the ability to truly know what brings happiness and fulfillment.
When Christ is at the center of our universe, then our focus changes entirely. By letting God be God we will begin to experience the great goodness that is available through the Kingdom of God. How can I claim this? Well, I have the knowledge of Jesus’ teachings on the good life and his sacrifice on the Cross for my salvation and the great hope of resurrection and new life.
There is abundant goodness in God’s will. God has gladly chosen to give us his kingdom, which is where what God wants done is done. The things God wants done is ultimately in our best interest and for our good and intended to bring us joy. Momentary pleasure and entertainment is not God’s ultimate goal. Instead, it is a pervasive and ever present joy that leads us to hope and confidence that good is coming, even if we cannot see it.
The worst thing that can happen to you is not that you will end up being unhappy. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you will not have the ability to recognize the blessings that God has provided for you and is surrounding you with.
Times may be extremely difficult right now but the end of your story is not determined by your current difficulty. Abundant goodness, in God’s terms, is coming and available. We have to let God have the right place at the center of our universe and then, and only then, will we see his great goodness and beauty.
“I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure” (Psalm 16:7-9).