Fatalism is the disease of those who have lost hope. Fatalism says that there is nothing I can do or say to change the circumstances that I live in. It tells us that there is no point in trying or reason to work at bettering oneself. Fatalism says that our lives are entirely in the hands of others and we have no control over our future. Fatalism is destructive. Often it is the result of having tried, failed and given up. It looks at limits and can see no way around the boundaries we’ve bumped into or those we have set for ourselves. We cease to believe in possibilities. We do not believe in ourselves. We convince ourselves that our current circumstance in life is our destiny and that nothing can ever change for the better.
Looking for a job during a recession and after ten years of being out of the job market, got me almost to that point. I was blessed with a friend who continued to encourage me. He would say, “Fate is what happens to you in life. Destiny is what you make happen.” Which is not to say there are no limits in our lives. We can be crushed by illness, loss and heartache. We may not be able to stop the inevitable consequences of a disease or protect a loved one from their mistakes. What we can do, is what we are capable of doing.
Isaac could have given up on ever finding a safe place for his family. The Biblical record of Isaac’s journey is found in the 26th chapter of the book of Genesis. Going is search of water for his family and flocks he digs a well. First one well after another is claimed by rivals. I think I would have gotten pretty tired of digging wells and having another group of people, who hadn’t done the work, say the water belonged to them. But Isaac does not give up. He keeps digging wells until he finds a place where he and his family can live in peace.
We are not helpless in the face of adversity. God gave us brains to use. When the apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, ” (Philippians 4:13) he was expressing his confidence that his decisions and actions could and would have a positive impact on his life.
We can choose to drift through our lives letting fate take us where it will, or we can set a course which will positively alter our future. Aligning our hopes, dreams, goals and actions with God’s for us, is the way of destiny. There we find our true purpose in life. Along the way we discover with the apostle Paul, that we too, “Can do all things through Christ” who strengthens us.