“Celebration when your plan is working? Anyone can do that. But when you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it over and over as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that's when you start to learn what celebration is. When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that's celebration.”Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life
Today, I saw this quote in the bathroom at my local Zumba studio. So random, I know. But this excerpt from this book I've never heard of stirs a deep place in me.
Because anyone can be a cynic. Anyone can look at their life and find tragedy and heartbreak, because we all have it. It's easy to make a list of all the ways I've been hurt and the ways that life hasn't always turned out exactly how I pictured. Its easy for us to go there, because it akes absolutely no faith. Being cynical about life, or even what the world defines at "realism", takes absolutely no faith in the goodness and faithfulness of God. Because when we're cynical, we're placing our trust completely in how we perceive the state of our circumstances. In cynicism, there is no space for the goodness of God to blossom hope in our hearts.
But, oh, how painful it can be to hope again. The Bible itself tells us that "hope deferred makes the heart sick". When we have allowed ourselves to hope, only to be disappointed, it is difficult to have the courage to believe again. I am learning that faith, hope, and love are all hard. They are difficult, and they take courage and boldness to pursue. To choose to see, by faith, beauty where ashes still lay is bold. It takes faith in the unchanging character of God and the faithfulness of His word (Isaiah 61).
Anyone can be a cynic, but only the bold, courageous, and tenacious children of God can see harrowing circumstances and STILL believe that He is good, He is stronger, and He is working all things together for our good. So be strong and courageous-- allow Him to ignite a spark of hope within your heart.
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 27:3, NIV
"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living." Psalm 27:3,NASB