Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Mid-Week Message - When Life Doesn't Go the Way We Planned

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  See his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don't be impressed with your own wisdom.  Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil."  Proverbs 3:5-7  (NLT)

When we are young, we begin planning how we want our lives to go.  We start choosing which occupational path to choose, what type of person we think we want to marry, whether we want children or not.  And of course, in our minds, it all works out.  We sail through school and college, snag our desired job, have the perfect relationship and wonderful children who are well behaved and also sail through school and college and make the right life choices.  We live long, healthy lives and, when we are very old, pass away in our sleep, peacefully and quietly.  

Reality is quite different though, isn't it?  School may not go as well as we hoped.  Relationships come and go and our hearts are broken multiple times.  That chosen occupation may not work out.  We may find something we enjoy much more or, sadly, we may experience long times of unemployment while wondering how we are going to provide for ourselves.  Our children have minds of their own and go through their own personal struggles and often make wrong choices.  And our health surprises us by taking turns that we could never have expected.  

Life just doesn't follow our pre-laid out roads. There are so many variables that can alter our plans.  We encounter everything from small snags to great disasters.  Accidents, illness, divorce, layoffs, financial downturns and other incidents can create hardships that cause us to wonder what we did wrong.  However, gratefully, we also encounter great joys that fill our hearts and miracles that remind us that Someone else is in control and hasn't forgotten us.  These heavenly moments give us the strength to keep breathing. We are able to continue to put one foot in front of the other because we know that our Creator is still active in our lives and knows the way through whatever darkness we may be facing.

My favorite scripture is the second half of the 16th verse in Psalm 139.  There it says, "all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  Read that again.  Here we find the assurance that God is already aware of everything that we will face in life. He has already seen it and knows the outcome.  It is a reminder to stay close to Him because He is the one that knows the pathway we must walk.  He will be our guide.  As Psalm 119:105 says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."  He may only show us one step at a time, but He will see us to the end.  

For those who are going through any of life's struggles today, I want to remind you that you are loved with an everlasting love.  You are not alone, even if you feel that you are.  He was with you when your loved one passed away and He is with you now.  He knew when you would lose your job and how your needs will be provided for.  That errant child is also His child and He has plans for him or her that you may not be aware of but will lead them where they need to go.  He is the Great Physician who can heal all of your infirmities.  Your illness isn't a surprise to Him.  If you allow Him to, He will use even this for His glory.  

I have been told recently that I am sometimes too optimistic.  I assure you that I struggle too.  Some days are very difficult for me.  But my faith is secure.  I know that my Father in Heaven is on my side.  I trust that He was telling me the truth when He promised never to leave me.  If He loved me enough to send His son to die in my place, then He loves me enough to help me through whatever this day throws at me.  And He loves you every bit as much.  Rest in that.  God bless. 

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