Many years ago, I was riding my ten speed bike on a long tour through Western Maryland into West Virginia. My bike was carrying about 35 lbs in the rear panniers. Heading home over the Catoctin Mountains, I'd had ridden through a series of long climbs and fast descents. I was a bit worn, as the late summer rains began to fall. Turning onto a long road that would lead me beyond the grand hills to a roller coaster of ups and downs for miles to come, I saw a yellow diamond shaped warning sign through the rain drops.
I'm wet, and tired, and so as I look up ahead at the sign, it reads, "Steep Hills Ahead".
What?? I said aloud, "Really?" Then I looked again. It didn't say that at all.
I had seventy miles to go, in the rain, and I had just come over some hills. So my mind was already anticipating an extended time of suffering. So my mind projected that onto the sign.
When we're going through a hard time, on a long stretch of life's road, our minds can project into the situation negative thoughts, preconceived notions, and even prophecies of impending doom. How often have you made a hard situation even more difficult because you thought you saw what was there or thought you heard a word about it?
The one thing we can count on when we are not sure about anything else is the Lord. In the midst of a destroyed and decimated Jerusalem, Jeremiah writes:
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Things are never quite as they seem because God is the only One who can see everything that is there.