Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
While I stood in the Christian book store studying the clearance shelf, the floral design of a coffee mug caught my attention. I picked it up and looked at the price. Yep, definitely on sale. I decided to buy it.
Then I turned the mug around and discovered these words scripted on the other side: Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.
Yeah, right, I thought. I don’t need that farce staring me in the face every morning.
I put the mug back on the shelf. Maybe I didn’t want it so much after all.
I went about my business looking for items that were the reasons why I’d gone in the store in the first place. As I shopped, the words on that mug stayed with me pressing me to wonder, can a person really live as though something wonderful is about to happen? I could pull it off once in a while, like when I know a special occasion is coming up, but all the time?
I wavered. Sometimes terrible things happen. I have difficulty enough trying to accept the tragic, the grievous, or the painful situations that come my way. Once I’ve dealt with those, I have no energy left to look for the wonderful, and even less expectation that it might actually happen to me.
Belief in the wonderful sounded like a good way to set myself up for disappointment.
I went deeper into the store and got lost in the birthday card aisle hoping to forget about the coffee mug with its unrealistic message.
We can believe in the wonderful yet to come because something wonderful has already happened. Jesus came. He paid the price of tragedy, death, loss, and sin so that we don’t have to. At the moment we become believers, the Holy Spirit enters into our hearts and lives. He fills up the places in need of healing. As this happens over time, we become new creations. “So, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (II Corinthians 5:17, NRSV). We also become strong. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (I John 4:4).
Faith brings the wonderful into our lives. When we have faith in God, we no longer rely on ourselves for rescue in the midst of our troubles. We look to God completely in full trust he can save us.
He always does. And that’s wonderful.
The world around us may appear to be falling apart on the outside, but God uses the disasters and the pain to transform us on the inside. And that’s wonderful.
The distraction of looking for a niece’s birthday card failed to push the floral coffee mug from my mind. I returned to the clearance shelf, picked up the mug, and read it again.
Grace is always happening. Mercy is always happening. Change in my heart is always happening. And that’s wonderful.
I didn’t put the mug back on the shelf this time. It now sits on my kitchen counter awaiting the daily opportunity to stare me in the face with its message. Believe in the wonderful. It’s all around you, inside you, and ready to happen…to you.