At the beginning of the ‘Forrest Gump’ film, Tom Hanks (as Forrest Gump) states that life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what’s going to be in it! However, with God, all the surprises and disappointments can be turned to good and each chocolate (e.g.situation) can actually taste good but may not be appreciated until afterwards! Some chocolates last longer than others. In our family, we always had a sweet sucking contest when travelling in a car. The one who could make their confectionery last longer in their mouth was the winner. My dear Auntie Ethel always won the competition and, when she died, I became the champion in this field! However life sometimes is not so much fun.
The apostle Paul, in the Bible, stated that we are to rejoice always (see 1 Thessalonians 5) – not just when things go well and life turns out as we wish it. We can be happy when life is rosy but joy can be experienced when we choose to believe what is true and keep trusting God no matter what happens to us or how we feel. God is an all wise God and allows what He knows will work for good in our lives so that our present circumstances and future hopes are secure. We Christians of all people can be the most joyful people on Earth as death is behind us and we have life in all its abundance now and of the everlasting kind ahead of us, too.
Paul (again) states that our present experiences are working for our eternal good not just while we are on planet Earth. God is committed to making us all like Jesus and so he engineers our lives to produce the most fruit. Even brokenness in an individual can bring so much good. Just as grapes have to be crushed to produce the best wine, so with our lives. Many of the hymn writers of years ago wrote their songs out of dire happenings and we still hold their expressions dear to our hearts today and they can even bring tears to our eyes as we empathise with the sentiments in their words. Some of the writers lost spouses and/or children in tragic circumstances and yet their eyes and hearts went upward not downward in deep despair. Their hope was kept alive by One who was and is bigger who held them and met their needs.
In Colossians 2, it states that “we are complete in Him”. How wonderful is this. No-one else or nothing else can do this for us . We are indeed a blessed people, yet anyone can taste the chocolate of the best kind – they only have to ask – even children!