Consolation Prizes?

God, Theology

Contributed by: Connecting Streams

Sometimes when things don’t go the way we plan, we give each other consolation prizes of words, “Well at least you showed up” or, “It’s all in God’s hands now.”

We say these things in well-meaning ways, trying to minimize the discouragement.

Often, though, these helpful phrases don’t sink in as truth. The reality of circumstances takes over faith.

One week I joined one of our prison teams. Unfortunately, our spot was cancelled due to some issues with a few of the inmates.

The evening wasn’t what we expected it to be, but at least we went, right?

The thing is, it is a good thing we went and the guards and inmates saw that our team was there. It shows them that our volunteers care, that we respect them, that we are trustworthy and reliable, and that we want to be there.

Whether we show up or not, the lives of these people are in the hands of God. On some nights, we have the privilege of contributing through word and deed, and on others like that evening, through prayer.

When things don’t turn out as we hope we’re not receiving a consolation prize but rather, outcomes that are still good, and often better than what we had imagined, because of the work of the Holy Spirit.

When the Jews were expecting a Messiah, they thought he’d come as a prominent ruler and king, leading the way to victory like a great army leader. He came, however, as a humble human with power, wisdom and love to fulfill God’s plan of redemption.

It wasn’t what the people expected. It was much much more.

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