Thursday, June 11, 2015

When Doing Everything Right Doesn’t Mean Everything will be All Right

For SW

I am the Queen of doing things Right. Somewhere along the way early in life I adopted the belief that if I did things right, life would turn out all right. A race to that goal ensued; an exhausting race I have been running ever since.

But part of growing up is learning that even when we do everything right, life does not always turn out right.

Job changes, sickness, hopes deferred, all make our best-laid plans seem futile and disappointing. How can we cope when life does not deliver the expected result, although we are trying so very hard?

It has been said that in heaven there will be no more tears and pain simply because everyone will have completely and utterly accepted the will of God in their lives. They will exist in perfect unity with Him, no more resisting and wrestling with His will.

I am wondering this morning if that acceptance is possible this side of heaven. If it is, I want it.

Old Testament Noah was Mr. Right. We are told in Genesis 6:9 that Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Imagine Noah’s dismay when, after a lifetime of doing things right and walking closely with God, the world started falling apart? 

Imagine his fear when God confided in him that He was about to destroy the earth with water from the sky, something that had never. happened. before. (Scientists now know that before the flood, it had never rained on the earth). 

Let’s watch Noah carefully here. We can learn something about how to respond when we have done everything right but everything appears to be going wrong.

  • Noah did not complain.
  • Noah was silent and listened very carefully.
  • Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (Genesis 6:22)
  • Noah waited with faith and belief on the Lord’s salvation.
  • Noah gave thanks.
  • Noah received God’s promised blessing.

After doing everything the way it was supposed to be done, Noah found himself shut up in an ark, like being shut up in God’s murky and confusing will, waiting. Waiting for the promise of sunshine again, of solid ground beneath him again, of something resembling normal again. Waiting.

God knows man doesn’t wait well. He gave Noah work to do while he waited, a whole lot of stinking, smelly, laborious and noisy work to do. And Noah did it. He added to his superior resume the quality of faithfulness during that long wait.

When he finally emerged from that dark and stormy place, Noah found his world completely changed. Life as he once knew it was no longer in existence. The landscape had changed, his relationships had changed (the population of the earth was gone except for his family!) and he was given stewardship of a new beginning in a new world.

Doing everything right does not guarantee that life will turn out right, at least not our human, incomplete opinion of what right is.

So maybe our motive for doing right needs to change.

What if we decide like Noah to fix our eyes on God, to walk with Him, to listen to him and carefully do everything He commands us? Even if the world starts falling apart around us and God asks us to do things no one has ever done before. What if just being that close to God becomes our motive?

Noah believed God, period. He believed in His goodness and His preservation of those who love Him. So Noah waited, he worked, and he grew faithful. He received God’s promises, and was given a new life.

This morning as I ponder my little formula of “doing things right equals everything will turn out alright”, I think I am going to make some changes. I am fixing my eyes on God today and quieting my complaining heart. I am readying my hands for the work of faithfulness while I wait on His promises to come true in my life. I want to be that close to God.

Perhaps the secret is that He is the reward, not a life in which everything goes right.

See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him!” -Isaiah 62:11

Like mine, does your life formula need tweaking? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Doing everything right does not guarantee that life will turn out right. (Click to Tweet)

Perhaps the secret of life is that God is the reward, not a life in which everything goes right. (Click to Tweet)

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