One of the distressing realities in life is that there are some things that cannot be fixed! What do you say when someone we have prayed for passes away? Or when a marriage self-destructs? How do you approach the victims of tragedy and betrayal? What is to be our response when life takes a sudden and disastrous turn—when things don’t go according to plan—but miserably awry?
We are all undoubtedly familiar with the nursery rhyme, ‘Humpty Dumpty’ (presumably a giant Egg) — Sure, you remember his story? Some of you swear that Humpty Dumpty could be a metaphor for your life!
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, and all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty together again. “
There are a lot of people reading this who can attest to the truth of this: some things just cannot be fixed; some choices, events and tragedies simply cannot be put back together again… Yet, many Christians remain convinced that God will allow them to avoid all negative circumstances and anything less than that is unacceptable and simply not “walking in faith!” Let me help you with that erroneous theology — Christianity is not avoiding pain and difficulty — it is overcoming it! Some things in life can’t be fixed. Some things break and stay broken, but that doesn’t change the promise of God for our eternal future. One of the keys to dealing with life is accepting the permanence of loss in some things. Without that understanding, you will be continually discouraged and tormented in your mind. We cannot go back and fix all of our childhood failures or take vengeance for every abuse and injustice!
It has been noted that in real life only children believe that pain always goes away; and even they learn quickly that such is not the case. Momma kissing your boo-boo can only take a child so far in life. Only the insane in a delusional state actually achieve the suppression of all pain; and they only achieve that by denying reality…
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls — Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” -Habakkuk 3:17-19
This prophet knew the frustration of God’s silence in a time of great need. He knew the reality of tangible loss in his personal efforts and ministry. Habakkuk displays three very simple, yet critical principles that must be understood in order to embrace the reality of his situation and the reality of his God…
1. He accepts the past.
He accepts the permanence of loss, “the fig tree will not bud” He is saying, “I can’t alter that, and in fact no one can! It is what it is! This he notes perhaps as opposed to those who would insist that they just cannot accept this situation and will not tolerate this outcome, saying, “I just can’t accept this.” Well, as gallant and noble as that may sound coming out, it adds not one fig to the tree that will not bud! Habakkuk is able to move forward because he accepts the permanence of the circumstances he has been dealt.
2. He embraces the present.
He couldn’t change the past, so he chose to make the best out of his present situation. Embrace the present or live in fear of circumstances from your past and concerns for you future, thus losing the value of the present. Habakkuk refused to be robbed of his relationship with God just because things did not work out like he’d wanted them to. He CHOOSES JOY in the present. “I will be joyful in God”
3. He runs toward the future!
No season of remorse, pouting or self-pity. No losing his footing or going backwards… “He enables me to go to the heights…” — to walk where I have never walked before! To the high hills. God can change the outlook of your valley by simply giving you a view of life from above! “He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”
What about you today? Got some things in your life that can’t be fixed? Mistakes? Failures? Bad decisions? Lost some things that cannot be gotten back again? Living in regret at the permanence of some things in your life?
1. Accept the past.
2. Embrace the present
3. Run toward the future!