I remember many years ago, I was considering marriage to my college boyfriend. He was a kind man, and though young, I like to think we were in love. Years after graduation, we would get engaged. The only problem was that something felt wrong. It just didn’t feel like a relationship that would last forever. This bothered me but I could not quite put my finger on the problems. We talked through things and vowed to work harder at making things better. However, despite my prayers and a four-year relationship, nothing changed. We broke it off and I still remember it as, at the time, one of the toughest times of my life. I was heartbroken. Two months later, I would meet my now husband, the one God picked for me.
Why didn’t I simply trust God that He knew what he was doing with my relationship? I fought and prayed to make things right with my then, college boyfriend, to no avail. God had a different plan. God’s plan is always better than the one we can think of by ourselves. Why can it be so difficult to trust Him and His plan when we are in the midst of strife?
A single mom was considering leaving her job. Yet she was scared to make a move. Although she worked in a terribly negative environment, she would never leave without the promise of a new position at a different company. She interviewed and, three times in a row, was rejected by the prospective employers. She didn’t understand. She prayed for a better work environment and steady income. She had a daughter in college and desperately had to stretch her dollars, so she was beginning to believe she’d be stuck. While she remained faithful she was growing quite discouraged. She didn’t understand God’s plan.
One Friday, after a full day of work, she arrived home to a package that greeted her at her doorstep. Her employment was terminated, effective in two weeks. She was crushed. Her superiors gave her no warning, and for the past year, her reviews had been very positive. This made no logical sense. She worried all weekend. What was she going to do now? Her severance was not going to last that long. Her termination could not possibly be part of God’s plan for her now. How could she get fired without an explanation? She had many more questions than answers. She prayed and prayed.
Then this single mom got right to work, relying on her network to alert her to any opportunities. Two weeks. It took two weeks for two different, successful companies to offer her a position. After much discernment, she ended up working for an amazing company, with a great reputation for treating their employees well, with better benefits than she had originally at her old job. She also had three weeks of paid time off that she was able to spend recovering from the only employment termination she had ever experienced and get her family organized before the holidays. She couldn’t believe her “luck.”
Why couldn’t she see that God was working on her behalf, even amidst chaos, shock and frustration? Both of us knew that God works in mysterious ways, but when the rubber meets the road in our own lives — and relationships, finances, health or employment are at stake, we can easily lose our steady faith in trusting God’s answers more than our own. I know I can subconsciously spend more time worrying and searching for an answer than in prayer. This is something that is an ongoing lesson I must experience over and over, though it always comes back to the fact that my Father knows more than I do, each and very time.
I am trying to live as if any setback, big or small, is surely part of God’s plan. Of course, this is challenging some days. “A flat tire, a child with the flu AND a big meeting at work? Lord, why is this happening all in the same day? This must not be part of the plan!” But what if it is? What if every single little and big setback, challenge or grievance is part of His plan for you? What if God knows what he is doing, every single minute of ever single day and uses His plan for nothing but good for you? What if it is God that always has the answer, if we let him be the solution?
If we can live day in and day out, as if everything is from God, no matter how stressful or joyous, then we are able to approach life’s challenges as one step in the journey towards a closer relationship to our Savior, His Son.
Whatever challenge is upon you right now, can you see that it just might be exactly the part of His plan for you, to make things better than you can even imagine? This sentiment is exactly why I love the following passage:
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Copyright 2017 Meg Bucaro