Sunday, 14 April 2013

When The Results Aren't What You Hoped For

(First posted on Violets and Daisies on Tuesday, 15th of January, 2013)

Today marks a very exciting day for many students here in New Zealand. For it was the day that we recieved our NCEA exam results, which determine our qualifications for our destination once we leave high school, whether that be university, a job or anything beyond! So of course it's quite important to many of us - particularly those who, like me, love to learn and can get quite carried away with trying to do our best.
Maybe it is not so surprising then that the Lord needed to teach me some hard lessons in pride today!!! For the previous year I got results which actually exceeded my expectations - the Lord was gracious there as I was going through a particularly difficult year and so that was a real blessing as it took some pressure off me. But over the course of the year it grew harder and harder to keep motivated in terms of serving the Lord through my work ethic, and yet as my results continued to remain high my pride only grew. So imagine my horror when I recieved my results today only to find that while I had not failed completely they were markedly worse than previous years!
How does one respond? I must say I had not contemplated properly until today the real struggle I had been having with pride in that area - I had simply tried to shrug it off and ignore it. While my results are such that I can still carry on with my plans for this year, I realise that I could easily have missed out.

To my utter surprise, however, I did not find myself in tears but rather the Lord enabled me to face today with a sense of peace that His will was being done, that this was happening for a reason, perhaps to teach me some well-needed lessons. For one thing, I was aware that I had not worked as hard last year as in previous years that would merit better results, indeed I was fortunate to do as well as I did! The Lord gently reminded me of this, and more besides, today.

I guess the point I'm trying to get across is that sometimes, when we do things, even when we try our hardest (as we should!) we don't get the results we would like, or even what we feel we would deserve. For instance, the production Daisy and I were orgnaising could easily have been a failure - the community may have shown no interest at all in it, or it may have never come together as well as it did, despite all our hard work. But you know what? I am slowly learning that whatever the outcome, the Lord's Soverign Will will ultimately prevail and He will turn it to His glory. Not that we shouldn't try - far from it, as trying our hardest is one of the best ways we can serve Him! - but rather that we need to be turning the attention away from our pride in our own abilities and rather seek to be serving Him and putting Him first in everything that we do. Then He can give us the grace to leave it in His hands to give us the outcome He sees fit, and have confidence that whatever happens, He will never abandon us. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, whoever you may be, please pray for me as I am really struggling to do this! Likewise, my prayer is that the Lord will help you as you seek to serve Him in your life and that He would help you to leave the outcome of things in His hands!

To close I will leave you with two verses that I believe emphasise that we need to be trusting in the Lord rather than ourselves and our own abilities:

    It is better to take refuge in the LORD
        than to trust in man.
(Psalm 118:8 ESV)

    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
    (James 1:17 ESV)

And as an aside, thanks so much to all of you who encouraged me recently through this blog. Encouragements like that really make this blog feel worthwhile! It really is my prayer that this blog would be a place where young Christians like myself can go to be strengthened in their walk with Christ, and I'm so glad that many of you feel it is doing just that - it is truly humbling to see how the Lord uses even things that we consider insignificant for His glory! Please do let me know, however, if you ever disagree with something I say as these posts are merely the ponderings of young Christians who still have a lot to learn and the last thing I or any of the other authors on this blog ever want to do is lead anyone astray with wrong thinking! Test everything by Scripture, dear readers! :)
God bless and have lovely day!

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