Proverbs 19:21 NIV
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
“… It is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Oh my goodness. Goosebumps.
I am struggling right now. My heart is hurting right now and I don’t know what God wants me to do.
Why in the world does God allow me to struggle?
Before I get into this, I want you to know that I do not presume to have all of the answers. However, this is my best guess from what I know, and I also realize there are probably many layers to unravel in this question and I will not address them all in this post. This is simply what the Lord has put on my heart at this moment.
I have heard it said that our lives are kind of like a giant tapestry that God is weaving into His perfect design. He is the designer and the creator. He knows the plan He made for us all before our feet ever hit the planet.
And yet, He blessed us with free will and because of this, we get to choose whatever we want for our lives. Our savior, idols, friends, significant other, career path, what we want for dinner, and if we want that second piece of cheesecake.
OOOH! The choices! There are so many opportunities to take the wrong path.
Sometimes I wish that I did not have so many choices.
What does God want from me? Why did God give me a free will? Could He not just give me a clear itinerary of all the little details and decisions I need to make?
I tend to believe that God gave us free will out of total sacrificial love. After all, John 3:16 tells us that.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
He made the ultimate sacrifice of His ONLY son to cleanse a world of sin.
I don’t know about you, but I do not believe I could ever sacrifice a child of mine for the sins of someone else.
It was also a sacrifice to create a human race with free will, knowing many would not choose to love Him.
There it is again. Free will.
He did not want to force me to love Him, although He deeply desires my love.
I can understand not wanting to make someone love me, nor would I necessarily want love from someone that I forced.
Through our free will, mistakes and wrong choices are made and through them, there is an opportunity to learn to do better. In essence, the struggle develops us and we grow.
My struggles help me to grow.
We experience hurt and hardships. We struggle through life through various heartaches, and through them all, there is an opportunity for growth.
At the root of that growth for me though, is a growing desire to choose God above all else.
Sounds weird though. Doesn’t it?
Why would I want to grow closer to God when he allows me to struggle?
I have seen with my own eyes, the miracle of healing. I have experienced the peace that surpasses all understanding. I have seen God show up in my life and know that with everything in me…
God is real.
You can read the entire experience of how my faith grew through the loss of my firstborn son here.
More than anything, the creator of the universe wants me to choose Him! Every day, He wants me to choose Him with an everlasting love.
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
He wants good things for me!
There are many thoughts about why bad things happen to good people, but my favorite notion is so that I will ultimately be led to God, and then it is up to me to choose to follow Him. Did you catch it? Free will.
His desire is for me, not against me.
I’m not much for video games or computer games, but I have to admit, I have played a little Sims from time to time. Well, mostly just using cheat codes to plump up my bank account so I can build and decorate magnificent dream homes for the SIM characters. If only I could do that in real life. Haha!
But anyway, while playing the game, when the SIM gets hungry or tired or needs a bath, or something else if I am ignoring their needs, they look up at me (the one with the master plan) and start yelling in their little SIM language. They are just trying their hardest to get my attention. Of course, as a normal SIM creator, I want them to prosper. That’s the whole point of the game!
It occurred to me one day, that is kind of how I am with God. Things are not going my way, and that is when I look to Him for help, relief, emergency calls, fix my problems, heal my body, and everything else I need from Him.
I do not like discomfort or pain at all!
Why am I struggling?
Why am I suffering?
What did I do to deserve this?
The stressful times when everything feels like it is falling apart are typically the times when I seek Him and His plan for my life. Dear Lord, What is my next step? Won’t you fix this for me? Won’t you take away this pain? My heartache is too much to bear!
That is not all he wants from us though. He is absolutely our emergency call, but He is so much more than that!
He wants us to seek Him every single day, and in everything we do. He wants us to bask in His unconditional love during the not-so-stressful-times too.
I know this.
I’m not always good at it though. Sometimes, I’m better than others. I’m great at praying every day, and even various times throughout the day, I talk to God.
I have to be transparent in telling you that if the scripture didn’t come in my email box or in my app, then I honestly can not remember when the last time I actually opened up my Bible. Sure, I have looked up scripture and even read entire chapters on my computer or phone screen though. But to really get out my Bible and search?
I am ashamed to admit, it’s been a while. That’s my step one. Today, I’m getting my Bible out and opening it up and asking God where he wants to lead me.
God draws us with His everlasting love.
I want His plan to be my plan. That’s where I have to take a step back from Christi and look more for Him and His direction.
From the beginning.
This is TOTALLY me.
I have a tendency to be a bit of a planner, and with that, I struggle starting something unless I have every detail ready to go. That is one reason it has taken me so many years to step out of my box and start this blog (and inevitably, my business).
I don’t have a clear plan detailing every single post I will write or every product that I will create to sell. And I certainly don’t have the insight to see into the future. I don’t even know if anyone will ever read the blog, and more importantly, be ministered to by the words I write.
But that’s what FAITH is all about.
I don’t have to have the plan. BUT…
I don’t have to because HE DOES!
If I sense God is compelling me to do something, I just have to take that first step and trust He has the plan, and tune in to His direction, knowing he will lead me when the time is right.
That is the tough part though. Tuning in and stepping out of my anxiety and into trust.
At least it is for me.
Just a little something to ponder …
Are you anything like me in this? Do you have to have a plan and know what to expect? Does it stop you from taking the smallest steps?
So often, we have expectations without even realizing it.
Are you searching for your purpose? Are you confused about why you are experiencing struggle or heartache? Or maybe you know what He is calling you to do right now but you have been too afraid to take the first step.
Through the struggle, allow Him to draw you closer to Him. Let me encourage you to take a step, even if it’s a baby step. And when you do it, remember…
His plans do not fail.
Where are you trusting Him today and what area of your life are you challenged to trust Him in today?
Get your copy of my entire Sincerely Christi Resource Library,
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I've created several printables in the self-help category such as:
- the fear/faith journal page so you can get past your fears and walk in faith
- the Love evaluation that will help you love others according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
- the first 2 chapters of my book entitled Your Marriage Retreat: 7 Date Nights to a Thriving Marriage
- decorative scripture printables
- several lists of my favorite Christian books on Amazon,
- a growing directory of my favorite Christian bloggers (COMING SOON),
- and so much more.