When we are asked “How are you doing?” we are sometimes inclined to answer, “Not bad, under the circumstances.”
We all live in some kind of circumstances; that's what we call the stuff of life and events and people around us. “Circum” is a term for what is around me, encircles me, in the material, emotional, and social world—our circumstances are a part of the world and its cares and concerns that I share with all humankind.
Does God expect me as a Christian to barely survive under my circumstances, being overpowered and crushed by them?
Whatever the circumstances that seem to press so hard against me, if I surrender them to Christ totally, they are the best-shaped tool in the Father’s hand to further chisel me for Eternity. Therefore I should trust Him and where He has put me. I shouldn't push away the instrument of His working, the circumstance that He is using, lest I lose the benefit of its work.
God doesn’t send adverse things, but He allows them for His purposes. Satan may have meant my situation for evil, but God uses it for my good and for His glory. I need to embrace my circumstances as ultimately being given by my loving Lord and ask Him what it is He wants me to learn from them. Then it is up to me to listen and obey.
Whatever I am going through now in the advanced years of my life, as it was throughout the other seasons of my life, is not a setback but something God has permitted in His perfect plans for me. I am not on a detour or off the track. God is keeping me in the secret of His presence, sheltered in His love.
I must trust God no matter how things look, whether positive or negative, hopeful or discouraging in my circumstances. I may feel hedged in or pressed upon by some situation that I can’t get out of or get away from. But I need to remember that as an obedient child of God, I can stand secure in His invisible nucleus, right in the center of the circle of God’s will for my life.
The Bible tells me about many bad “-ites” – Hittites, Amorites, etc. But if I belong to the Lord, I am one of God’s “favor-ites.” The Scripture declares that I am like “the apple of His eye” and He holds me “in the palm of His hand.” I stand within the circle of His blessing, which is a better definition of circumstances, and I am “circum-ed,” or surrounded by His love for me.
I shouldn't feel confused or uncertain about any new situation that comes up. I should simply stand firm and stay rooted and grounded in Christ right where I am. The Lord expects me to bloom where He planted me because that is exactly where He wants me. I may not think that my circumstances are like a lovely flower garden. They may seem restricted and negative, full of thorny weeds. But I'm not to move out of God’s present circle of blessing, come what may.
It may not look much like a place of blessing to me, but it is! It encourages me that there is a “great cloud of witnesses,” visible and invisible (Hebrews 12:1), surrounding me and cheering me on to remain strong and faithful and persevering. I shouldn't be afraid of anything or doubt God or be double-minded. God wants me to stay full of faith and centered in Him who has full control of all the “circum” stuff around me and within me that may seem to be “out of order.”
Nothing is out of God’s control—and neither am I.