Things have not been easy lately. That about sums it up.
However, I have some very special people in my life surrounding my little family in love and prayer. I received a card and a grocery gift card last week from one of those special people. The gift card for groceries was hugely helpful to us in a practical way, and the card is very meaningful to me as well because of the message in it. The words resonate with me in this season and brings peace. It says,
"When my life didn't turn out the way I had hoped,
I asked God for help.
He gently reminded me that His plans were better than anything I could have ever dreamed.
His plans for you will be wonderful."
Printed above that is one of my favorite verses, Jeremiah 29:11:
"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."
The message in the card reminds me of another verse, Isaiah 55:9,
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
Sometimes when I read that Scripture, I feel like having a childish tantrum and complaining and whining. "Why aren't my ideas and my plans working out? Why can't I be the boss of my life? How dare God not think I know what I'm doing? Waa waa waa"
Yep, total tantrum and completely proving that I'm not spiritually mature yet (that takes a lifetime and more, I'm convinced). But thankfully I am growing, because those tantrum moments don't last as long as they used to. And they flow into new moments, where I am reminded that God is the perfect parent, and does know best. Because of that, I can and need to trust that His fatherly reminder in Isaiah 55:9 is reliable. I can put my faith in it, and trust that when I believe it not only will I live with so much more peace, but my life really will turn out beautifully. He knows best, and I need to be obedient with that simple fact.
I really like The Message translation:
“I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think."
The way it is written there, it really paints the picture that God's ways are truly better than mine. When I let go of my small, human perspective and jump into His arms for the greater life He has in mind for me, I won't regret it. Never ever. And that rings true in every experience I've had so far in my 28 years. Whenever I have moved forward into an adventure, into a scary step, with courage and trusting that God's plans were the best, I have been rewarded each time with amazing growth, experiences, and memories.
So whether we're talking about me continuing to face these "incurable" diseases and tough days head on with hope and the future in mind, or maybe talking about you jumping out and taking a risk to move to a new city or job where you know you'll make a greater impact for Christ... the adventures He has in mind for each of us are so unique and beautiful. Whatever it may be, will you join me in facing the challenge with a faith that God has better things ahead than you can dream up, even if there are a few bumps in the road between here and there? Meaning, it won't always be easy, it won't always be sunshine and rainbows... but it will be worth it!
One of my favorite things about Jesus-following life is the great adventure it truly is. There is no more exciting or thrilling or rewarding life on Earth! His ways are higher, His plans are greater...
Let's not let fear or uncertainty or especially comfort keep us settling for anything less!