Even if you do everything right, sometimes things go wrong. Take deviled eggs for example. Even though I call myself doing everything right, and I have tried every trick I have ever heard about peeling boiled eggs well, still I struggle. You name it, I’ve tried it. Well, maybe. Feel free to share your tricks.
I have tried using “old” eggs. That hint is from my dad. I’ve tried peeling them under running water. I’ve even tried the blowing method where you peel just the end off and poke a small hole in the other end and blow. It worked once on one egg, and I got a headache from blowing all the others. No matter what I try, my deviled eggs end up bringing out the devil in me. I finally told my mother to stop asking me to make deviled eggs for Easter lunch. Throwing eggs is unbecoming behavior for a grown woman on any day, but it’s especially bad on Easter.
Back to my point, you can do everything right, and still sometimes things turn out badly. I think there’s a momma who needs to hear that right now. And I think there’s a college grad out there that got the degree, can’t get a job, and needs to grasp hold of this truth. Or how about anyone else who played by the rules only to find life didn’t turn out like they had hoped? Doesn’t that cover most of us at one time or another?
I know it sure does include me. I was recently reminded of a time, six years ago, when our family stepped into quite a mess… all the while thinking we were doing everything right. I mean, if you are sold out to Jesus and following after him, what can go wrong? Um, plenty apparently.
So what did we do? We did a lot of things. We made mistakes. We acted rashly. We panicked. Super spiritual stuff. But in moments of clarity, we kept walking. It was slow going at times, and there were lots of days when we just wanted to lie down and wallow in our despair. We wanted to commiserate, focus on the things that had gone wrong, and try to find someone to blame for it all.
Yet when things don’t go as we think they should, we have to keep moving forward. If we don’t, it’s muck and mire time for sure.
The Bible talks about valley times; about times of disappointment and loss. It’s not “if we walk through the valley”… it’s “when we walk through the valley.” (Psalm 23:4) If you want to read about someone wallowing in the muck, read some of King David’s writings. Take Psalm 42, for example. Go check out that little joyless tidbit. That man could roll around in some self-pity, but in moments of clarity, David could keep moving forward. When he didn’t understand why he was hurting, alone, or defeated, he looked to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and remembered the faithfulness of the Almighty, and he kept on going.
Valleys are not infinite. Not if you keep walking. If you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will eventually get to the other side. And I promise the view from the next peak, looking back on that valley, will speak volumes to you. There will be wisdom on that next peak. Things that are cloudy from your present vantage point will be clear then. You will better understand that while you did everything “right” leading up to that valley, traversing it was ultimately for your benefit. That’s just how good God is.
I look back over the last six years, and I can smile. I wasn’t smiling a lot back then, but the view from where I am standing is awesome. And just think, if we had stayed in the valley, if we had wallowed in the “poor pitiful us, we did it all right and everything still went to pot”, I would have missed seeing all this!
Maybe you have done everything right (Or maybe you haven’t), and still you see everything going wrong. Hang in there. Our Father is beyond amazing and He’s on it. He is going to make wonderful things from this situation, if you just keep walking. If you just keep your focus on the Father.
So for the momma whose heart is breaking, or the graduate who can’t seem to catch a break, or for you… walking through your own valley, listen to David, the expert valley walker:
“Is anyone crying for help? GOD is listening,
ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you’ll find GOD right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. Disciples so often get into trouble;
still, GOD is there every time. He’s your bodyguard, shielding every bone;
not even a finger gets broken. The wicked commit slow suicide;
they waste their lives hating the good. GOD pays for each slave’s freedom;
no one who runs to him loses out.” Psalm 34:17-22
And can somebody tell me how to successfully peel a boiled egg? Help a sister out! Thanksgiving is coming!