What I really feel like doing is stocking my quiver with poison-tipped, sure-to-knock- ‘em -dead arrows, strapping on my double-edged sword, and going to battle with all the freedom-hating, God-blind “religious” extremists, political leaders, and ignorant people in the news, who are bent on turning our world upside-down.
I want my moment to rant, and rave, and rattle my saber. That being said, I will set it aside for a while because the recent death of Steve Jobs reminded me of a more edifying perspective. So today and for a few more days, I’m going to focus on seeing through the apparent defeats, reversals, and impossibilities of situations (be they personal or global) to the ultimate triumphs.
Years ago, in an address to Stanford students, Steve Jobs related the importance of certain events in his life, which at the time, may have screamed, “Failure!”, but which led, many years later, to highly successful endeavors.
It would be hard to imagine, especially from a parental perspective, the good that could come from someone’s dropping out of college and replacing a curriculum of job qualifying courses with one in calligraphy. But that’s what Jobs did, although he was pretty scared about it himself, especially since he couldn’t see “even a hope of any practical application.”
Not for ten long years. Not until he was designing the first Mac and the beauty of the calligraphy came flooding back to mind, consequently launching the Mac in a class of its own with its typefaces and fonts and Steve Jobs into a world of wealth and power.
Another catalytic event for him, he said, was when he was fired from the very company he founded. Talk about adding insult to injury. Again, Jobs admits that the insight wasn’t there at the time, but this negative, potentially devastating event freed him to see things in the fresh perspective of someone starting anew, and he went on to start another company, Pixar, no less.
The subsequent achievements of this man’s life attest not only to his brilliance, but to an attitude that looked for opportunity even in the face of adversity. Nevertheless, Steve Jobs is dead. And contrary to some blog posts, he was not God. We can hope his ability to look at things differently led him to see the One who is.
Good and bad happen to all of us—the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Many of us will succeed because we have wealth, or genius, or optimistic temperaments, or steady grit and go that keep us marching on through apparent setbacks. Spiritual principles work even for the unspiritual. And sometimes it does “all work out,” as so many people resign themselves to say.
But for those of us who find ourselves in a hope- strapping situation, who don’t feel we have the money, the know-how, the wisdom to find our way out, there is a surety we can hang our confidence on—here and now. A certainty that neither deception, nor disease, nor darkness nor death was ever able, nor ever will be able to thwart.
Regardless of how much of an impossible situation we seem to be in, how useless our present “calligraphy’ course may seem, we who trust in Jesus have a hope that looks forward because it is grounded in the One with whom all things are possible
Sometimes I have to remind myself He is the SAME God who opened a sea to let his people pass through, who remembered a young man imprisoned for crimes he didn’t commit, who sent a whale to swallow a rebellious messenger, who pacified lions (!) so they wouldn’t rip his man to shreds and who opened barred and guarded prison doors, and who stood in a fiery furnace with three people—humans just like you and me.
Because sometimes I reverse my perspective and forget that this world isn’t the one to cling to, that one day it (the mortal) will be swallowed up by life.—2Cor 5:4 (How many of us get that backwards!)
I pray today, that If someone reading this is in a tough spot, you will know Jesus is able to make a “door of hope”(Hosea 2:14) right there in the midst of your Achor, your place of troubling.(Josh. 7:25).
May you receive the faith not to waver in unbelief, but give glory to God, knowing that what He promises, He is able to perform.—R om. 4:20—knowing in due time, He will lift you up.