We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Kelly Bryant.
2 Corinthians 4:8
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair...“
Last year, a friend invited me to a vision board party to kick off the new year. In a cozy little coffee shop, I joined a small group of friends in cutting out pictures from magazines that represented our goals and pasting them onto poster board. The finished product was a visual reminder of what we each hoped we’d accomplish over the next 12 months. None of us could have predicted the circumstances we’d face in 2020 and 2021. Surviving a global pandemic certainly wasn’t featured on any of our boards. This January, the vision board party didn’t happen, and I found myself wondering, “Is it crazy to even get my hopes up for 2022?”
In his memoir, Man’s Search for Meaning, Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote about his experience as a prisoner in Nazi Germany during World War II and his observations around how people survived the misery of life in concentration camps. Frankl shares that there was a huge increase in the death rate between Christmas and New Years in 1944 that could not be attributed to any change in the prisoner’s conditions.
Frankl proposed that a sudden loss of hope is what led to the increase in deaths. Those who hoped that they would be released by Christmas proved to be less capable of surviving than those who found a reason to survive one day at a time. While most of us can’t compare the struggles we face to life in a concentration camp, the lesson Frankl shares, still rings true. If our hope is rooted in the pandemic ending by a certain date, finding the person I will marry by a specific age, achieving a certain level of fitness or adding another figure to my income this year, we set ourselves up for disappointment.
I’m placing my faith in my schedule (which I don’t really even control) instead of placing my faith in the One who created time. In Matthew 6, as Jesus is teaching the disciples how to pray, He says, “Give us this day our daily bread”. Instead of insisting on my timeline, I need to place my hope in Jesus and trust that He has equipped me with everything I need for this day. I do not know when the challenges I face will end, but I know the One who can get me through with hope for one day at a time.
Father, help me to submit my plans and my goals to Your will. I don’t want to place my hope in my calendar. I don’t want to feel defeated when I go through hard things. Instead, I want to rely on You to give me strength for each day. Your plans for my life are greater than anything I can ask or imagine. Help me to walk with You daily and trust that You are orchestrating my circumstances for good.
Make some space for God in your schedule. Spend time each day asking what He wants for you today instead of just relying on your hopes.
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