Social media is the perfect place to find perfect looking lives. Sometimes it feels like every Instagram account records the life of an adventurer, heart filled with beautiful dreams while inhabiting the coziest coffee shops around. It can be hard not to look at social media sometimes without wanting a life like that.
What if you had everything in your life going for you? Everything you owned assisted you in living the life you dream of. The people in your life always encouraged you, and your circumstances were particularly perfect for advancing you towards your goals. It would be as if having a trouble wasn’t possible. The perfectly curated life.
That’s where the world markets ambition to achieve our dreams: Get a job like this. Go to these places. Buy…well, everything. Be this way, and do that.
Ambition is not the answer. The Apostle Paul actually took a different route, choosing contentment. We don’t need the same sort of ambition as the world, because God actually creates perfectly curated lives for His children.
There is a paradox in the Christian life: We are following a King of whom the world is not worthy. This directly implies hardship from a daily cross. Simultaneously, we are gifted with perfectly curated lives, made beautiful by God.
This paradox means that the way God compiles beautiful lives doesn’t necessarily look just like the perfect social media-lives. What kind of beautiful lives does God compile? They might include disappointed dreams, illness, broken relationships, difficult circumstances; those things hardly sound like part of a beautiful life.
One simple truth transforms everything: The God who did not spare His own Son for our sake will not withhold anything good from us. All things work together for good to those who love God. Lose the cliché in that, and get the incredible depth. God has designed every step of your life for good. It is as if every single thing in your life is hand selected to point you toward your deepest dream.
Here we have a new year, and who knows what it might be filled with? Perhaps picture perfect scenes, adventures, and good coffee. (Those are all lovely, legitimate things.) Perhaps things we wish we could forget, times that will be retold with tears. Perhaps both the good and the hard. Either way, these things in 2017 will be perfectly curated for us, all the things we need.