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Even in a world of disappointments, God always does right

By REV. JAMES SCARBOROUGH

Donalsonville Assembly of God

Fried country ham is hard to beat. It is high in sodium and fat and all those other components that are bad for the circulatory system, but it still tastes good as far as I am concerned. (Gone is the time when we did not know what the word cholesterol meant, and we could eat fried fatback and not feel guilty about it!)

I no longer include country ham as a regular item on our table at home, but occasionally I indulge in it. After having a hankering for some lately, I bought a package. I bypassed the little 6-ounce pack (if I was going to give in to the urge, I wanted to make it worthwhile!). Maybe Dr. Brand will not learn that I dropped a 5-pound supply of the salty treat in my buggy and headed to the checkout.

On my way home, I visited a couple of families. During one of those visits, I was given some fresh okra, and after I got home, I went to the garden and found that my fall peas were ready to be picked. As Gale helped me get the peas shelled and ready to cook, she asked a no-brainer question: “Do you want some homemade biscuits to go with this?” There is no need to reveal my obvious answer. And she agreed to prepare the fresh cornbread that I asked for, too.

Everything was coming together nicely, until I started to get the ham ready for the skillet. It was cut much too thin, and did not look like what I had expected. And after it was fried, it did not have that irresistibly good taste that salt cured meat is supposed to have.

Perhaps I had set my standard too high by drawing from memories of the hams we cured at home years ago, which were always excellent.

I try not to be a complainer — although I probably fail more than I succeed in cultivating that characteristic in my life — but I must admit that I was disappointed with the quality of that prized dish that I had looked forward to. Needless to say, though, the rest of our feast was outstanding: peas, okra, biscuits, corn bread, and Sister Edna’s fine sweet pickles, and her delicious scuppernong jelly for the biscuits!

My disappointment with that package of ham quickly faded away and has no significance in the larger picture of life, but there are many disappointments that we face that matter a great deal because they affect us in life’s most important areas. For example, family members and friends disappoint us when they do not live up to our expectations (expectations which might be unrealistic), and, probably more often than we want to admit, we disappoint ourselves and others with foolish and insensitive words we speak or actions we take toward those we claim to love deeply.

Nevertheless, even in the midst of a world that is full of disappointments, we can rely upon the trustworthiness of God, who will always do right. Psalm 22:4-5 includes a glimpse of God’s faithfulness from the past that remains valid today: “In You our fathers put their trust; they trusted and You delivered them. They cried to You and were saved; in You they trusted and were not disappointed” (New International Version).