There are many things you can learn about someone during a time of crisis. You can learn much about their priorities and their purpose. We reveal our true colors when times are difficult and when the future is unknown. That last phrase, ‘when the future is unknown’, makes me smile. In one sense the future is always unknown, but in another, it can be known. It depends on your definition of the future. For some it is a limited view. For others, it has a long view. (True colors: “If you see someone in their true colors or if they show their true colors, you realize what they are really like.”)

During the memorial service for my mother in 2015, I reminded those in attendance of four things mom said all the time. Three of those phrases ring true when it comes to thinking about the future. The four things she frequently told me were: 1) “I’m not very smart. I’m a dumb bunny.” 2) “I am just along for the ride.” 3) “Don’t make any long-range plans.” … and 4) “None of these things move me.” These revealed her true color was GREEN, as seen in Jeremiah 17:7-8.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Although the first one doesn’t really talk about the future, I beg to differ with mom. She was “smarter” than many if most of the people I have known. It was only because she knew where to find truth and she knew the One who said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John 14:6).

When mom said, “I’m just along for the ride,” she was saying that she knew God was in control and that He was sovereign and loved her. When I get in a commercial jet and fly to India, I don’t spend time worrying about the flight or the destination. The pilot and the copilot can find New Delhi without my interference. They certainly don’t need my advice. What value do I add by being anxious? None.

When mom said, “Don’t make any long-range plans,” she was referring to something her cardiologist told her about her health. She wasn’t going to live a long time, based on the condition of her physical heart. However, she told the doctor she had already finished this task. She had placed her life and confidence in the One who promised her a home with Him in John chapter 14:1-3. Her long-range plans were settled. She was trusting in the One who declared, “I am the Life.”

Finally, when mom said, “None of these things move me,” she was talking about the troubles, trials, disappointments and hurts of this life. The reason she could say this because she trusted in the Lord. She was like a tree planted by a river when all around her it looked like drought. She was green.

What color are you?