Time and again, I find myself making plans and then getting frustrated when they don’t work out. I wake up each day with a to-do list that looks almost exactly like the to-do list from thee previous day, because – more often than not, something or someone gets in the way and I don’t get to do what I want to do. In the moment, it is very easy to forget that I am not my own – but if I take a step back and look at my past, I can see that my life is filled with pivotal moments that weren’t of my own planning. These moments are like God’s signposts on my life’s journey.
Just a few of these moments:
My wife – When I was in college, marriage was the furthest thing from my mind – and then I met Marcia. Her influence has, in many ways, protected me from myself and I am far better with her than I would be without her.
My daughter – While she wasn’t unplanned, I had no idea what I was in for when Marilyn was born. She was a strong-willed child who was quite difficult to handle at times. Apparently I had behaved in a similar manner because my father used to chuckle and tell me that “I got the child I deserved.” As difficult as she may have been, God used desire of her little heart to attend Sunday School in order to draw me back to Him.
Unemployment – Years ago, I had an excellent job at Laminations in Scranton. I had practically rebuilt the company’s network infrastructure from the ground up in the three years that I was there. Losing that job to outsourcing was devastating to me. As I look back, I can see that my identity and sense of self-worth was too tied to my job. Instead of thinking of myself as a Christian, a husband, or a father – I thought of myself as Laminations’ network engineer. God removed that job to make me more reliant on him, and then led me to a new job at Lamplighter which caused me to grow in other ways.
Car Accident – Not long after losing my job at Laminations, our car was totaled when someone ran a red light and hit us. Thankfully, no one was injured. As it turns out, without my job, we wouldn’t have been able to afford the payments on that car. Sometimes, God provides by taking things away.
I am sure that each of us have similar events throughout our lives that, while often unpleasant during the event, turn out to be beneficial in the end. God always has our best interests at heart even when our shortsightedness prevents us from being able to recognize his blessings.
1 The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
3 Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.