Have you ever had your plans derailed? I know I have and the outcome isn't always pretty. But if I've learned anything from experiencing one closed door after another, it's that often I have made the mistake of assuming a lot when it comes to God's plans for my
life. Maybe you can relate. I envision my life like some sort of Hollywood story, with a defined beginning
and end, where everything is wrapped up neatly before the credits roll. In reality our
lives often look much differently. They are a little less Hollywood and a little more
like those Biblical journeys of those like Job and Joseph, who faced one closed door after another with no clear explanation in sight.
That said, maybe instead of
hanging onto our ideals we need to change our perspective.
When we look at life with its sole purpose to make us happy by delivering exactly the
story that we have written for ourselves, we're bound to be disappointed. Even
though we all have great seasons and times of bountiful blessings, often those
seasons come to us in ways that we would have never expected or imagined.
On the other hand when we look at life as an amazing story that God has written for
us, with twists and turns that carry purpose, we find ourselves caught up in an
amazing adventure where we see each detour as just another step in this incredible
journey. We are able to do that when we trust in the One who is leading us.
Look at it this way. Imagine if for your birthday this year your friend picked you up
after work and blindfolded you (and just for the record, it doesn't take a lot of
imagining on my part since this has actually happened to me). After riding for a few
minutes blindfolded in the car chances are you've completely lost your sense of
direction and have no idea where you are or where you are going. However you
probably aren't going to be freaking out, unless of course you have serious trust
issues. Instead of flipping out you're likely excited, wondering where this little
journey is going to take you and who is waiting for you on the other end.
Now imagine a similar scenario. Instead of your friend picking you up after work and
blindfolding you, it is a complete stranger. That would be a reason to not only
panic, but do everything possible to escape, wouldn't it be?
That said, the God who is leading our journeys isn't some random stranger with
unknown intentions. We know and must keep reminding ourselves that God is the
One who is leading us down this path. This is the same God who loves us so much
that He not only forgives us time and time again, but He Himself paid the ultimate
sacrifice for that forgiveness. Doesn't that change everything? We don't need to
freak out or resist His every move. Instead we can relax and surrender ourselves to
His plans, knowing that a friend is the One leading us and He loves us more than you
can even imagine.
Knowing that I'm being led by a friend rather than a foe makes all the difference for
me. As I picture the gentle image of Jesus steering my journey, I'm able to
surrender the wheel and even learn to enjoy the journey.
Yes, Joseph's life took a drastic turn from what was expected. Yes, your life might not
turn out the way you had planned. And yes, my life looks different right now than I
would have thought it would be, but I'm learning that the definition of different isn't
bad. It's just, well, different.
Excerpt from the book, Closed Doors by Kristen McNulty.
Reprint rights available on request. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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