Have you ever realized that you have figured out God's plan for you? Maybe not the blueprint for you entire life, but the path for the immediate future with regards to a specific area. For instance your career path, or a plan for mission work, or your personal life and relationship?
I have, many times. I am not talking about the dreams I had regarding my blog, the experiences that I had that were totally unlike anything else I had ever experienced. I'm talking about the times when I felt so strongly about someone or something, when I wanted something so badly that I couldn't see how anything could get in the way of me and my desired goal.
These times, hopefully all in my past, these are the times when I have decided that I must have figured out Gods plan. It is easy to rationalize, easy to visualize the plan and the outcomes. Easy to say that "I wouldn't want this job so bad, feel so strongly and desperately that I MUST have this job, unless God intended for me to have it. God must be calling me to this, otherwise why would He let me want it sooooo much?"
Yes, sadly, this has also been a thought process I have followed with regards to relationships. I have had times when I "figured out" the reason why God put friends into my life. They were going through a particularly painful time that was similar to one of my life experiences, or they needed a friend who could support and encourage them. In some cases, I have made lifelong friends. In others I responded to the fact that the new "friend" desperately needed someone to listen, help or support them and only realized much later that the relationship was not really a friendship at all. Or at least by my definition, as the relationships were so one sided, but it would take me a very long time of being emotionally drained before I would realize this.
In another instance I feel head over heals in love, the first and really only time in my life. He was the perfect man......no, I didn't really believe he was perfect at all. What I did believe is that he was the perfect man for me. We went through a series of roadblocks and speed bumps, and each time I felt so incapable of letting go. I felt so emotionally connected, so madly, desperately, completely in love. With each problem along the way the depth of my feelings for him were unchanged, I was convinced that this was a sign that God intended for us to be together. There were other things I took as signs of this. A call that came through on my cell phone when I was in a location where I had no cell signal, a time when I prayed "if I am suppose to hang on, and we are suppose to be together, please do ......(don't remember specifically what)....to give me a sign that it is meant to be. In the end, I had to face some very hard truths. Things did not work out between us, he made choices that lead him in a different direction. I have accepted that, and yet there will always be some kind of connection between us.
These instances were all before my baptism, before I declared my intention to follow Jesus. The times when I "knew" what God's plan was were some of the hardest lessons on my faith journey. Clearly I was choosing to believe what I wanted to, or needed to, and then finding ways to "prove" it was what God wanted. As a species, we are so skilled at building a case for believing we are justified in having our own way.
Also worth mentioning, even if God did intend for someone to be "our destiny", he also gives us the gift of free will. It is important for us to remember others can choose to accept that destiny, or choose to follow a different path.
After many mistakes, I now know this.......I will follow where God leads me. I will be prayerful, and will try not to fall into the trap of guessing what His plan is. I will accept that free will allows people to follow, or not follow, Gods plan for them, and if their choice leads them away from me.......well, I will have faith that God has something different planned for me.
Trust in Gods plan for your life, don't try to second guess it. Live in the moment and listen for His message!!
Heavenly Father, please help us to listen for Your message. Help us to live in the moment, without dwelling on the past or guessing at the future. Thank You for Your wisdom, for Your grace, and for Your unconditional love. Thank You for the opportunities You give us to share Your love with others. Thank You for knowing our needs, and the concerns of our hearts, even when we do not have the words to adequately express them. Amen