Thursday, October 2, 2014

31 Days Of Strength In Scripture: My First Favorite Verse

My life has not always gone according to plan. I'm willing to bet you too can relate to the feelings of frustration that arise when your expectations are crushed, when you work hard to achieve something that's simply not meant to be.

I've written before about how there are times in our lives when we feel so out of control, and really, we should feel that way all the time. We're NOT ultimately in control, no matter how much we try to orchestrate things to make them feel that way. And it's during the times when we feel most out of control that I believe He is nudging us closer to Him.

When I think about the first verse that got my attention as a teen who was seeking guidance and purpose, I think of Proverbs 19:21.
but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails Proverbs 19:21

This verse brings me comfort because it reminds me that His ways are so much better than mine. He doesn't make everything happen in our lives exactly the way we want Him to because He knows better. One of the most significant things we can ever do is let go of our will and seek His above all else.

We can be so silly with our little wants. We're like my daughter, who was so convinced that she wanted to grow up and marry her little brother. She was so sad to find that she couldn't, that it didn't work that way. We react much the same when we discover that the way we thought life was going to go isn't accurate at all. But if we can recognize when our plan doesn't fit His purpose, we can let go and watch His purpose unfold.

Sometimes that works out great for us. I didn't think I'd get married very early in life. I'd always envisioned that I'd be around 24 or so. I was very picky about potential boyfriends (and also shy) and didn't really date in high school, so I just assumed I'd focus on college, work, travel, etc and would possibly meet someone sometime after all of that happened.

Then I started dating my future husband at 18 and married him at 21. It's by far one of the all-time greatest decisions I've ever made. I imagine that it was one of those times when God said, “Seriously, kiddo? Your plans suck. Here, let me go ahead and give you the greatest gift of your entire life. You're going to need him.”

But then, of course, there are other times when the loss of what we wanted hurts deeply – it doesn't turn out 'good' at all – and that's where faith comes in. When we know God and understand that He is goodness and grace and mercy and love, we can truly rest in the hope that exists 'beyond the blue'.

I don't feel like I'm there yet. I don't know how to 'praise You in this storm' as well as I should. But I do know how well You have carried me thus far.