Sometimes Life is Not Like a Box of Chocolates

A baby is finally born after two days of labor as four grandparents anxiously await its arrival.
A bridal shower is celebrated with friends and family in joyful attendance, all the while knowing that in less than a month that bride will move to the other side of the country.
A student graduates from college and says goodbye to closest friends, ready to embrace the real world.
A marriage dissolves as the real world proves too difficult an obstacle.
A young driver totals a car while all involved tremble with gratitude at their safety.

All this in the span of a few days! And a mother prays, because she knows that’s all she can do. She puts all these people and situations in God’s hands.

This is life. Pain and joy happen in rapid succession, sometimes even together in the same situation.

As Forest Gump’s mama so wisely said, “Sometimes life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Occasionally, life is as calm and as steady as a train ride that tours the park perimeter; we get to relax and coast along enjoying the view.
Sometimes life is more like a ski lift, and we are forced to jump off into our futures or risk being knocked over by our pasts.
And sometimes life is like a rollercoaster, with all its ups and downs and twists and turns, and we confront the certain knowledge that things are not in our control.

This is life. Nothing is constant; nothing predictable except its unpredictability.

When all the turmoil threatens my peace, I hear Jesus say, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:27).  Weaved through all life’s uncertainty is a constant I can trust: God. He is the one who in His kindness gives us joys to celebrate and in His wisdom allows us to experience sorrows that remind us of the unfillable desires of this life. Nothing is constant except God in His faithfulness, His strength, and His presence, and these are always with us.

So I can relax. There is no rollercoaster or ski lift of God’s love; there is only His constant tenderness and gentle presence on the train ride of life.



    1. I am so glad you found it right when you needed it. Maybe it’s Gods way of hitting you over the head with a two by four like Laura mentions below!

  1. Thanks Colleen. For some reason, last week I thought about how when I was a little girl, I was never afraid of anything as long as my dad was home. There were no “boogey men” in the closet or under the bed, no tornado was going to sweep me away, no intruders would invade our house – because I knew my dad would protect me and keep me safe. I realized I need to transfer that same image to God and his love and protection for me, always keeping me safe.
    Blessings, Mary

  2. This is so true Colleen. I really love every time I see you’ve posted another blog. There is one thing I want to add though. You talked of God’s constant tenderness and gentle presence. I just met with my spiritual director and when I talked about some of the things happening in my life she asked me if I really needed God to hit me over the head with a two by four and I told her that yes sometimes I do. And we both laughed because that’s exactly what God has been doing lately to get me to understand that God has and will continue to take care of me. So while I agree with God’s constant tenderness and gentle presence, sometimes God does use a two by four to get our attention – or at least mine.
    Love you!

    1. Laura, I know just what you mean! Sometimes God has to do all sorts of crazy things to get our attention!

  3. Dear Colleen, what a sweet and tangible reminder of God’s steadfast love and everlasting grace! Prayers for smooth waters amidst the turbulent.

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