Facing the Unforeseeable

The years of life loom ahead. Measured by the past they should bring their share of happiness, health, and success, along with a proportionate share of sorry, illness, and disappointment.

President, Central Union Conference

The years of life loom ahead. Measured by the past they should bring their share of happiness, health, and success, along with a proportionate share of sorry, illness, and disappointment.

God mercifully veils the future from us. Knowing would not be best, for we would worry ourselves sick. To be sure, the troubles of life come with unwonted suddenness. Then again, the desired and expected blessings are often delayed.

A believing Christian is neither dismayed by the suddenness of the unexpected nor discour­aged by the delay of the expected. That which comes to him is not accidental but by the ex­press permission of God. With the psalmist he believes that "my times are in thy hand" (Ps. 31:15). This confiding trust braces a believer to face life's varying circumstances realistically. Even as the weather is not consistently all sunshine or rain, neither is life made up of all blessing or disappointment. Because of this, failure or suc­cess does not dim the Christian's allegiance to God and His commandments. Come what may, he sings:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, "It is well, it is well with my soul."

Such an attitude toward the unforeseeable is something one is not born with. The experi­mental processes by which it is attained are daily consecration, moment by moment obed­ience, and an abiding faith in God's promises. This is walking with God as Enoch did in days of old.

Walking alone means stumbling and hurting ourselves. Walking with God means dependence on a Guide who has trod the way before us. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand" (Ps. 37: 23, 24).

Henceforth in both home and church why not face the future with courage, faithfully dis­charging today's duties as "the best preparation for tomorrow's trials" (The Ministry of Healing, p. 481).

Furthermore, look upon your work as a God-appointed blessing and be thankful and happy for something to do. As this is done, trust re­places worry, patience takes the place of fretting, love supersedes envy, and hope over­shadows fear.

Remember that God still lives, and in the darkest hour, when the "unforeseeable" seems forbidding, recall the promise: "Lo, I am with you alway" (Matt. 28:20).

God hath not promised

Skies always blue,

Flower-strewn pathways

All our lives through;

God hath not promised Sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow,

Peace without pain.

But God hath promised

Strength for the day,

Rest for the labor,

Light for the way,

Grace for the trials,

Help from above,

Unfailing sympathy,

Undying love.

—Annie Johnson Flint

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President, Central Union Conference

April 1960

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