Hope in the Lord, Not Man
Mr. Frank Churchill did not come. When the time proposed drew near, Mrs. Weston’s fears were justified in the arrival of a letter of excuse. For the present, he could not be spared, to his “very great mortification and regret; but still he looked forward with the hope of coming to Randalls at no distant period.”
Mrs. Weston was exceedingly disappointed — much more disappointed, in fact, than her husband, though her dependence on seeing the young man had been so much more sober: but a sanguine temper, though for ever expecting more good than occurs, does not always pay for its hopes by any proportionate depression. It soon flies over the present failure, and begins to hope again. For half an hour Mr. Weston was surprized and sorry; but then he began to perceive that Frank’s coming two or three months later would be a much better plan; better time of year; better weather; and that he would be able, without any doubt, to stay considerably longer with them than if he had come sooner.
These feelings rapidly restored his comfort, while Mrs. Weston, of a more apprehensive disposition, foresaw nothing but a repetition of excuses and delays; and after all her concern for what her husband was to suffer, suffered a great deal more herself.
It is dangerous to place all your hopes in another person because — human nature being what it is — he or she will almost certainly eventually let you down. This is shown a hundredfold in the example of Frank Churchill, who makes numerous false promises to visit his father and new stepmother at Randalls but time and again sends apologies for his delay. In a later section, Mr. Knightley will harshly criticize Frank for planting seeds of false promise and failing to come through.
No one seems to feel the sting of Frank’s rudeness as sharply as Mrs. Weston, who fears that her husband is being strung along. A loyal and devoted wife, she is vexed by her husband’s disappointment and ends up suffering “a great deal more herself.”
If you’ve ever been disappointed by another person, you can understand Mrs. Weston’s level of upset. We can learn from her example by choosing to believe the best about others — but making sure that our future hope is firmly rooted only in the one true God.
Loving fellowship with people and placing trust in them is a relational gift ordained by God, but it should never replace our need for God. On this point the apostle Paul wrote,
We… comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. — 2 Corinthians 1:4-5
It is helpful to remember that when friends let you down — and it will happen, at some point, to everyone — you will find it easier to forgive and move forward if your trust is secure in the immovable, unchangeable love of the Savior.
While you can’t know for certain that your friends will be faithful and loyal when you need them most, you can know that God will fill that expectation! Resolve today to be a friend who loves with a Christlike love, but seek your deepest soul-comfort in the one true Source. He will never let you down.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! — Psalm 34:8
Excerpted with permission from A Jane Austen Devotional by Steffany Woolsey, copyright Thomas Nelson.
* * *
Jesus will never, ever let us down. He won’t delay longer that He knows is best. He won’t be a no-show. We can thank God for the wonderful friends and family He has given us, but He’s the main event! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily