One of my favorite quotes that is attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr, is “We must accept finite disappointments but never lose infinite hope.” It reminds me of Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.” Whatever troubles are happening now, for the Christian they are only temporary. Whatever hardship we are enduring in the present will fade in the future as out Lord comes for us, vindicates us, and takes us home with Him to live a life of unending joy. Here in this world we will have trouble, as Scripture plainly teaches, but we are not to be dismayed for we serve the One who overcomes all. What a great promise for all eternity — we serve a Risen Savior who is coming again and this is what gives us infinite hope. As we head into Easter, let us lift our eyes from the finite disappointments that so easily beset us and lift our eyes to the One who is hope incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why a picture of a diaper? Because my wife started a business manufacturing custom cloth diapers (www.damorydiapers.com) after a failed adoption. We thought we were adopting a little girl at birth, but a changed mind by the mom led to our disappointment. An even bigger change occurred when, 11 months later, we were contacted about adopting the same little girl — this time successfully. So change happened twice, a new business and a new daughter. Funny how life’s only constant is change.
One of the cardinal beliefs we hold about God is that He is all-knowing. That means that He knows everything that you or I will ever do. He knows this in advance from the day you were born, stretching into infinity. One of the ramifications of this is that He can never be disappointed in us. Disappointment, by definition, means to be discouraged or saddened by the failure to live up to hopes, dreams or expectations. Since God knows everything we will ever do in advance, He cannot be disappointed by our failures, simply because He isn’t expecting us to do anything other than He already knows we will do.
He knows these things, and yet loves us anyway. We can sadden Him, grieve Him, anger Him – but we will not disappoint Him. This is both exhilarating and sobering. It is exhilarating because I don’t have to carry around a false sense of guilt of causing Him disappointment. It is sobering, though, when I realize He couldn’t expect better from me because He already knew when and where I would fail.
The amazing thing of all this is that is shows God’s grace standing above all. Despite knowing my failures in advance, He still calls me to ministry. He still empowers me. He still loves me.
One of the other things you can’t do to God is surprise Him. That, though, will be a subject for another day. Praise God for His omniscience.