“Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” So says Forrest Gump’s mama (actress Sally Field). We might not know what today will bring, but we DO know what awaits.
I haven’t watched Forrest Gump in ages but that quote came to mind recently. I love chocolate, and I love life, but it’s true that I never know what I’m going to get each day. Sunshine or rain. Welcome news or a dreaded phone call. Laughter or tears. Some days are like a summer storm – sunny, then cloudy, then a downpour followed by a rainbow. Others are as quiet as an early morning snowfall with little drama or noise.
Yesterday was cool and cloudy here in Minnesota. Dark clouds loomed to the west. After a day sprinkled with frustrations (luckily no downpours), I had dinner with a group of dear friends and we laughed for hours. A rainbow of fun after annoying obstacles.
Today the sun is shining in a clear sky, promising warmer temps and perhaps a day without troubles. Or not. While I know the weather is hardly a predictor of how my day will go (cloudy days can be filled with laughter, sunny days dark with grief), the beauty of the quiet morning fills me with joy. There’s so much more to my day, my life than what’s outside my window.
In his second letter to the church of Corinth, Paul reminds the believers not to lose heart, that their troubles are fleeting compared to the eternal joy that awaits. Focusing just on what we can see will impact our mood and actions, usually in negative ways. While we can’t help but be influenced by life–simple things like when it rains on the day we planned a picnic, or difficult things like losing out on a promotion or another month without a longed-for pregnancy–we need to remember that there’s far more than just what is seen.
God is at work on sunny days and in the midst of storms, when our health is good and when the doctor’s report is bad. He’s not influenced by weather, news reports, school shootings, fighting politicians, or even a royal wedding. We may not know what each day will hold, but He does. And that’s where our focus needs to be.
Today, whether you encounter clouds, sun, or a little of each, remember that beyond this moment waits an eternity of joy and peace with the Father, free from pain, sadness, and disappointment.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Cor. 4:16-17