Experiences in life...may turn out to be a great disappointment or perhaps they may be full of enchanting surprises.
As my hubby sat making hotel reservations one evening for an upcoming conference in Milwaukee, he asked if I wanted to tag along. Pictures of quiet strolls on the River-walk and a little shopping trip in the up-and-coming Historic Third Ward soon filled my head. So, of course I said, “Yes!”
Before embarking on our little whirlwind trip, we stopped by the university to pick up a couple of Food Science graduate students. I have always enjoyed getting to know the grad students over the years, and Molly and Liz were no exception. As I am a this-vehicle-stops-for-treats kind of traveler, it wasn’t long before we found ourselves merrily munching our way across Wisconsin and chatting as if old friends.
Just outside of Milwaukee discussion turned to our hotel arrangements. The girls, we learned, would be happily situated at the Hyatt right across from the Wisconsin City Center where the conference was being held.
Our Hilton was located down along the river. The only problem was...it was miles upstream from downtown Milwaukee. That’s when I felt my heart start palpitating.
But, that wasn’t the worst of it. Our hotel along the river was plunked way out in the middle of a business district with not a single thing to do in sight.
Seeing my panicked-stricken state at the thought of being stranded for the next couple of days out in the boonies, Rey started calling downtown hotels to see if they had rooms available. But, to no avail, they were all booked.
As I slogged my way to the front desk in disbelief and disappointment, Rey inquired if there might be any rooms available with a river view. It wouldn’t be the Riverwalk, but, at least it would be a river. But, they, too, were booked. I fell into bed that night despondent.
The next morning I threw back the curtains of my third floor window to allow daylight to flood the room. I was greeted by a parking lot, a small building, and an endless sea of vehicles making their way to who knows where out on a nearby highway. “So, this is to be my view,” I thought to myself.
I sat back on the bed and stared as Greyhounds and school buses, transport vehicles and fuel trucks, milk haulers and dump trucks, SUV’s, CRV’s and cars of every shape and hue streamed past. I sensed I was in for a very l.o.n.g. day.
I reached for my go-to devotional, God Calling, gifted to me years ago by my friend, Pat, who now makes her home in heaven and opened it to the following daily reading.
Trust in me. Do as I say each moment and all indeed shall be well. Divine control, unquestioning obedience – these are the only conditions of supply that are ample for your needs. Have no fear, go forward. Joy – radiant joy will be yours. Change all disappointment into Joy. Change each complaint into laughter.
I looked up and stared back out at the traffic as it continued its constant rhythm of motion past my window.
A choice lay before me. I could spend the rest of the day in resigned defeat and discouragement, or I could entrust the circumstances I now found myself in to his divine control.
God was asking me to trust him unquestioningly. That’s hard for me, especially when his plans are uncomfortable. But, he promised that he would supply joy in exchange for my disappointment and turn my muttering complaints into laughter. How could I lose?
I spent the rest of the morning writing this very blog in my room without a view.
Then, my growling stomach nudged me down to the hotel restaurant for a little lunch. And that’s when God did it. That’s where his joy overcame my disappointment, where he turned my complaints to laughter. As I walked in the foyer I saw that the whole restaurant was wall-to-wall windows, all with a view of the river. And to top it off, scattered all along the riverbank were daffodil clusters in varying stages...some in full bloom.
No...my circumstances hadn’t changed, I still went back to my room without a view, but, thanks be to God, my attitude and perspective had.
I don’t know what circumstances you now find yourselves in, my friends, but, I do know this...God can transform even the most painfully disappointing into a place of sweetest peace and joy, if we choose it.
Anyone who trusts in him will never be disappointed.
p.s. After the conference ended, Molly, Liz, Rey and I made a quick little pit stop at the Historic Third District and loaded up on treats of all kinds for our long trip back home. Joy upon joy!
As Ann said we sometimes have to be a pessimist before we can see the positive. Thanks for your perspective and I'm glad you went for lunch in the restaurant with a "view."
Life throws us curveballs now again, both large and seemingly insignificant...like my room with no view. Thankfully, our precious Savior patiently journeys with us as we process our reactions to those curveballs!