A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit…All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast (Proverbs 15:13,15).”
Most people have heard the name Warren Buffett, even if they don’t know much about him. Buffett is an investor, one of the world’s richest men.
Ironically, in what one of his biographies calls “the worst admission decision in history”, he was rejected by Harvard Business School. He went on to apply to and get accepted by Columbia University and went there instead. At Columbia, Buffett met his mentor Ben Graham from whom he learned the investing principles that has made him a success.
Buffett says that at the time of his rejection by Harvard Business School he had a “feeling of dread. However, he now is glad he didn’t go there because the school wasn’t right for him.
In fact, Buffett is generally glad for other setbacks in his life, not just for his inability to impress Harvard. For example, his terror at public speaking led him to take a Dale Carnegie Course, which gave him the confidence to court his now wife, a champion debater.
In an interview with MSN, Buffet said,”The truth is, everything that has happened in my life . . . that I thought was a crushing event at the time has turned out for the better.” He told his interviewer that setbacks teach “lessons that carry you along. You learn that a temporary defeat is not a permanent one. In the end, it can be an opportunity.”
One problem we Christians have is that we tend to be impatient. We can’t wait to let the good times role or for our ships to come in, and we look up to heaven in dismay.
One of Job’s accusers, a young man named Elihu, claimed the old guy was tired of waiting for God to give him a hearing (Job 35:14). While Elihu’s criticism of Job was misguided, a complaint of that kind could be lodged against a lof us modern believers, including yours truly.
The truth is, having to wait for life to get better does have its bad effects. The wise man of Proverbs says,”Hope deferred makes the heart sick… (Proverbs 13:12).” We become depressed and miserable about our lot.
Yet, the Bible is stock full of examples of bad times leading to good things in the end. Look at Joseph. He was in jail on a trumped up charge, yet the circumstances eventually led him to become Egypt’s governor. This promotion from the big house to the White House fulfilled the plan of God. It gave Israel a place to grow and prosper for a time (Genesis 46:1-3; 50:19).
There’s no sense beating our heads against the wall waiting for the big payday, the perfect job or the great relationship. Instead, we ought to see the opportunities as we wait on God to fulfill his purpose for us.
There are many of them. We can get to know Him better in the process . We can focus on loving our family, friends and coworkers. We can learn wisdom, become godly and gain some humility (Proverbs 15:14,16-17,19,21,24,26,32-33).
Ultimately, we have to see that God is working for our good and that He is on His throne ruling our circumstances (Romans 8:28; Psalm 46:10). If we keep these truths in mind, we will see the glass as half full instead of half empty.
As my wife likes to say, “Life is hard, but there is enough of it.” There’s other things to occupy our attention besides our difficulties.
My wife actually prayed this morning that I wouldn’t be “morose”. The Merriam-Webster Dictitonary defines this term as “having a sullen and gloomy disposition; marked by or expressive of gloom”. Hmmm. That is me. If the shoe fits, wear it.
Better to see suffering as opportunity knocking, and to look up and cheer up. Life will be better for me and all those around me if I do.