Proverbs 10:24 struck me as I read it this morning...
"What the wicked dread will overtake them;
What the righteous desire will be granted."
I love Proverbs because its sayings are able to capture truth and relate it so concisely. It takes things that I have observed and puts them into a memorable saying.
This proverb immediately reminded me of people that have complained to me about their lives. Their lives have been bad...one misfortune after another. In fact there are so many misfortunes lined up that after a while it appears that they are almost cursed. This sense of doom ( or "dread") then leaves a cloud over them. Their head is cast down as they brace for the next storm.
But what they don't see in all of this doom and gloom is that, where the original misfortunes were truly coincidental, much of the subsequent pain was self-induced. They rarely see it. They would protest wildly if pointed out. But they have no concept of how their negative attitude has altered their thinking and they are now actually choosing problems. Of course, they don't choose a specific calamity. For example, if someone is hit by a car, they didn't throw themselves in front of it. But maybe they were so down on their luck that they drank all day. Then they chose to walk in the street instead of the sidewalk. When they saw the car they couldn't react in time and BAM, they got hit. Now they have another tragic story to sing their dirge about. Do you see what I mean when I say that it is self-induced? But they interpret that event as God punishing them.
In contrast to this is the person with a godly desire. They are filled with the hope and joy that only God can give. Though trials come their way they keep the hope of resurrection ever before them because that is God's story - not only for Jesus - but for all of his children. No matter what comes their way, they are convinced that they can be an overcomer. They have a desire to succeed, to be victorious in spite of their circumstances and Proverbs tells us that that desire will be granted by God.
Two people. Two lives. One leads to ruin and the other to victory. Is God playing favorites? No. One has chosen desire and one dread. Choice is a powerful thing - for good and evil. The moment you choose to let God be a part of your life equation and expect him to do good things, you have just opened up the windows of heaven to receive all it's blessing. But when you are filled with dread you nail those same windows shut.
We all have a lot more to say about how our story reads than we realize. Choose wisely.