Is your life perfectly on track? Are you currently where you envisioned yourself 10 years ago? I have yet to meet anyone in this life whose life is perfectly on point with their original plan. Indeed, it seems that a big part of growing up in this life is accepting the life you’ve been given, not enjoying the life you want. Does that make sense? I think if you’re over the age of 12, you get this – you feel this – you truly understand this.
You know, it seems to me that far too many people envision a life for themselves with very little sorrow, pain, or grief. They enter into a new relationship with absolutely no budget for forgiving the person they’ve entered into a relationship with…As if this person will never sin against them! They start off a workout program with absolutely no thought of sickness or injury…As if any workout program ever goes according to plan! They begin a new job with absolutely no strategy for how to overcome the inevitable frustrations of the new job…As if this will be the perfect job with zero struggles!
So, they run. They run from the new relationship, labeling the other person “deficient”. They quit their new workout program, offering excuses for why they can’t adapt and overcome. They resign from their new job, convincing themselves that they deserve so much better.
May I cut it to you straight? This life will not go according to your plans. This life isn’t interested in your plans. This life will eat your plans for lunch. The reality is, you will experience more sorrow, more pain, and more grief than you think you are capable of handling. You will often find yourself overwhelmed, overstressed, and overtired. Can I get a witness? Yes, this life has true beauty and joy in it, but it will often not operate according to your wishes and desires.
Projects cost more and take more time than you initially envisioned. Cars break down at the most inconvenient of times. Toilets overflow. Loved ones get sick – sometimes very sick. Tires go flat. Children become rebellious. Friends leave us. And the list goes on and on and on.
So, what do we do when we finally wake up to the reality that our lives aren’t what we initially envisioned? What do we do when we stare at our reflection in the mirror and realize that we are far behind all of our hopes and dreams?
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Yes, we trust the One who knows us, loves us, and truly has a better plan for our lives than we have for our lives. And His plan always includes a healthy dose of sorrow, pain, and grief. Indeed, perhaps the thing that we are fighting so hard against, and praying that the Lord will take from us, will be used by the Lord to bring us to where we need to be, but cannot be, without the uncomfortable grace of sorrow, pain, and grief in our lives.
In the end, choose to trust the Lord with your not-according-to-the-plan life. As you do, He will straighten your path in life, not according to your grand design, but for your good and His glory. Indeed, remember that this life is not all there is, there is an eternity that awaits us…
Hebrews 11:16, “But as it is, they [those who live by faith, trusting in the Lord] desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”