Dangling Carrot

You have likely had an experience that could be labeled “a dangling carrot.” You’ve been looking for a new job in a new place when from out of nowhere comes an opportunity. You do well in the interview and feel really good about your prospects, when you receive an email revealing that the position has been filled by someone else – a dangling carrot. You have been desperately trying to sell your house for far too long. Finally, a prospective buyer has enough interest go beyond a showing and inquiries to make a bid. You respond with a reasonable counter, and the buyer walks away – a dangling carrot. Someone promises to provide support for your beloved charity project. You make plans based on their interest, and for whatever reason, they do not follow through – a dangling carrot.
A dangling carrot is a circumstance that develops when one is led to believe that a certain result is likely, which leads to increased expectations and even presumptive actions based on the anticipated outcome. It is born out of the proverbial carrot dangling before the horse to get it to move because it continually thinks the carrot is within reach. Frustration, bitterness, terrible disappointment and a prevalent lack of trust can grow in a person who sees too many carrots and not much fulfillment down the paths they attempt to take. Those who trust in the Lord know that their hope is not in the new job, the house sale, or the benevolent prospect, but in God alone to meet their needs and walk them through what may be a difficult time, believing that He is doing the best for them in their lives.
That said, I was recently reading in the book of Matthew the passage known as “The Beatitudes.” The word comes from the Latin for blessing, and Matthew 5:3-11 lists those who will be blessed and the blessings they will receive. Each verse begins with the words, “Blessed are…” This is God’s promise. When He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, (those who recognize their own inadequacy and dependence upon God) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:3, He is making a guarantee that will not fall short of completion. It is fully realized by those who depend on God. All that the Kingdom offers is theirs, and the promise will be completely fulfilled when we are face to face with Jesus. One can go through each of the blessings and know that: those who mourn will be comforted; those who are meek, will inherit the earth; those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, will be filled; those who are merciful, will be shown mercy; those who are pure in heart, will see God, those who are the peacemakers will be called sons of God; those who are persecuted because of righteousness do have the kingdom of heaven. These are their assured blessings because when God guarantees something, it is irrefutable.
In God’s Word, there are no dangling carrots. God’s presentation to us is the most heavenly recipe served on a silver platter for our consumption. We can be sure that the promises in the Bible will come to pass in the time that He has chosen for us. His Word will not frustrate us, cause bitterness, or be disappointing because we can trust the One who is the Word, Jesus.
I know I will still follow “dangling carrots” occasionally. But, pass me the silver platter so I can partake of that heavenly dish and taste the goodness of the Lord. There’s plenty for all; don’t let it pass you by. “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” Psalm 34:8
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