My stomach was in knots. In three short hours, I’d be discussing the unanticipated fallout of a long-awaited business deal. It was the final loose end of a two-year project I’d waited patiently to tie up in a nice, clean bow. In just a few days, what I’d dedicated so many sleepless nights towards was supposed to be complete. A churning concoction of anxiety and disappointment was brewing not only in my stomach, but in my mind and my heart as well.
I’d failed. I’d inevitably failed to seal the deal.
Oh, how I longed to be one of those champions of society that immediately confronts failure head-on with acceptance, confidence, and closure. Why did I allow myself to get so down in the dumps when I encouraged others so frequently? Why did I permit things to leave me stuck in a state of defeat? Why did I give so much weight to my external performance?
As I wallowed in my discouragement, I realized I needed to ask God to bring my focus higher. To remind me that his overall plan wasn’t designed for me to carry out in my own strength to begin with.
I needed to remember that twists and turns were but portions of the overall journey; not the journey itself. We serve a great God with a much greater plan.
Long before we ever had any chance at success or failure, he determined from his throne that those who love him would be sealed with a promise. A promise that marked us as his. A promise that his love for us stretches far beyond good or bad, ups or downs, life or death even. Far beyond allowing setbacks and detours to thwart the brilliant mission he has called us to. His love values us so much that he is jealous for our hearts.
Song of Solomon 8:6 so beautifully describes this kind of devotion: “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.” (ESV)
A love that strong would never fail to follow through, let alone abandon his plans for me.
He’s dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”. My life, soul, and eternity were purchased outright with zero open ends. He won the contract on my future and his initials are beside every term and condition. He alone is the final authority.
He’s written an entire story for each one of us, vastly longer than the damaged pages we think are the end. It encompasses more than we could ever imagine.
So, whether a project falls through, a job’s not offered, or a relationship doesn’t work out… I’m still sealed with the everlasting provision of my creator.
Our Elohim, our King of Kings, the name above all names… is just as much our delighted father who loves us deeply, and to whom we are quite a big deal.