Do you see God’s hand in your life? Sometimes His lessons are easy to understand. Sometimes the lessons are hard. I promised that I would talk about how important interpretation and not jumping to conclusions is. Well, here goes.
Going to college really challenged me. I met people who thought differently than I was accustomed to thinking. They verbalized their thoughts in different ways. They meant different things than I did even though they used the same words. What a struggle! I found myself misunderstood and misunderstanding the people around me. A minister I came to know once told me, "Perception is reality." I bristled a lot at that. I had been brought up to believe that reality was reality and our job was to filter out perception until we discovered what was truly real. However, even though I bristle at that statement if I think someone is using perception as an excuse not to see reality, I have come to discover that many people (sometimes even me!) can’t get past their perceptions. Sometimes, we jump to conclusions about others or ourselves that are premature.
For example, I followed a girl to college. She decided that I was not the one for her. I had two choices: conclude that I had sinned by following her to college, or see what God had in store for me in the new situation I found myself in. My choice has made all the difference in my life. It affected who I met, what my plans were, and ultimately who I married.
Situational depression is one of those premature conclusions that hurts us. When we conclude that we are less of a person because of a situation that has hit us, we miss what God may be doing in our lives. My encouragement? Take a wait and see approach to the hard lessons of your life. Don’t emotionally jump to a conclusion about yourself, God, or others without giving things some time to sink in and let the Word of God address the situation. By the way, giving things time is a difficult thing to do because time always feels relative. In times like those, use and trust a good friend or family member.