By: Sarah Arend
“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give
thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of
God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the
1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-19
The Lord seems to work in ways that often that don’t make complete sense to me until down the road when I look back and see His hand in them. I have had many failed projects, missed opportunities, and missteps that I’ve taken. It’s easy for me to focus in on those failures or screw-ups.
I like things to go my way. I like to predict, dictate, and control my circumstances, my success, and my growth. But that is not always–and maybe not even usually–the case. There have been numerous times where, out of my control, things happen that weren’t in “the plan”.
No, I think, I need to fix this, this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be! What can I do?
Sometimes I can’t do anything. Sometimes my path is completely re-directed. And sometimes I need to sit in the fact that there might be a different road to a new destination for me.
It is in these times that resentment can begin to creep in because I felt entitled to my path, my plan. I can quench the spirit because when I am so fixated on my plan that fell through, I am blind to the work of God in other areas of my life.
I had it figured out, it was so perfect, it didn’t need changing.
I can’t say whether or not God intentionally alters my path to teach me to be pliable to his will. But I know for a fact that as I look back on some of the most “path-altering” moments of my life, when I felt the most entitled and grieved the loss of control the most deeply, the hand of God was working. He takes the failed projects, missed opportunities, and missteps to gently guide my feet towards a new destination, a new goal–one that is always greater than I could have imagined.
I feel resentment when what I want doesn’t happen how or when I want it to. I grieve the painful loss of control. But gradually, as I redirect, I can begin to see that somehow, this new path is better. It opens up opportunities, gives me time to grow, helps me to take moments of rest, or even is a chance to challenge my character. And suddenly, in the place of resentment and grief, I feel thankful. The change wasn’t supposed to be a stumbling block, but an opportunity for a blessing.
It’s almost like you knew, God. It’s almost like you know what I really need and what is really best for me.
I don’t know if my life being redirected will ever be easy, but I do know that how I view it is beginning to change. I have more hope that something good will grow. I am looking for the change of plans to be an opportunity instead of a stumbling block. And I am trusting that the same God that has used my failures and made them into blessings will continue to transform and lead me through life.
Thank you God. Thank you for knowing me and what I need, even when I do not. I trust you, take my life and use it because you know what is best.