A few weeks ago my wife and I took our 5-year-old daughter to Disney World which was a lot of fun.
The first day there we went down to Disney World’s Disney Springs Area.
The rain came in and kept us inside this mostly outdoor mall area and we hopped from store to store trying to stay as dry as possible.
It was fun but it was a little bit of an ominous start to our vacation. Just as the rain starts letting up and stopping altogether… the power goes out.
In the whole area.
I was worried.
We knew when we planned the trip that it was the offseason for Disney but it was also hurricane season for Florida.
As we are leaving we saw lights on in one area and as we walked up a lady in the small snack shack told the crowd.
“We’re closed! Power is out in this whole area, there’s a hurricane coming in and it’s gonna be like this all week.”
Maybe in part because of her slightly boorish method of breaking the news to us, I didn’t take the news that well.
Instantly I started forecasting the whole week as a disaster. Indeed when we arrived back at the hotel the forecasts of Hurricane Dorian showed it hitting Orlando as a CAT 2 or 3.
It was over.
Before it even began.
The vacation was over.
The trip we had planned for over a year to the happiest place on Earth, ruined.
Except it wasn’t.
It was just forecasted.
The entire way back to the car I fumed with disappointment and despair.
Finally, when we got into the car in the parking garage (by way of cellphone light as the power was still out), I stopped fuming and made an important choice.
I was honest and I was willing to be humbled.
I told Sarah and Lizzy that I was worried and that I thought we should pray.
So we did.
I started, then Sarah, then Lizzy.
Something about a 5-year-old praying in our back seat that we would be safe on vacation and that her two brothers wouldn’t grow up while she was gone (yes she really said that) humbled me.
It course-corrected my attitude and helped me realize that the forecast was just that.
It wasn’t my future.
In fact, the forecast kept changing and the weather ended up being perfect.
The crowds were smaller.
The temperature was cooler.
It was perfect.
But in that moment, fear of a forecast clouded the future.
My point is, I’m not sure what you’re going through or what you’re headed toward.
But you don’t either.
No one does.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to predictions or heed warnings.
I’m just saying that a forecast is just that, a forecast.
It’s not your future.
The forecast isn’t your future.
The diagnosis isn’t your destiny.
The prediction’s not a promise.
In this example the stakes were honestly pretty small. The only thing really at risk was our vacation. But I almost let an attitude about the unknown ruin my precious time with my wife and daughter.
The truth was that the only person who could look at our future with certainty was our Creator.
My hope would be that if faced with a more crucial or scary forecast, prediction, or diagnosis we’d respond in the same way.
We’d stop and be willing to be humbled enough, to “not worry about anything but pray about everything”, and name a forecast as just that, a forecast not the future.
Because no matter what future or destiny stands in front of you, you can hold to the promise that God holds it in his hands.