God in Our Life Equation

” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts….my word goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.’ “—Isaiah 55:8-9, 11

I entered a piece of artwork in a very competitive art exhibit and found out I didn’t get past the first jury phase. I applied for a job at the end of June and as July has come and almost gone with no word from the potential employer, I have come to the conclusion that that opportunity will not work out either.

I know you have been in my shoes, as we all wrestle with one form of roadblock or another. The sting of rejection is deeper and greater depending on how much you want something to happen. When I submitted my resume for this potential job, I prayed a lot about it. I told God that I’d know it was in His will if I got it. If it was not what He wanted me to do, I knew I would not. That has helped to dampen the sting a bit—-knowing that God was part of the equation and is guiding me onto a different path. What that path looks like, I am not certain. But obviously that job was not in God’s plan for me.

We all love to speculate why things don’t happen the way we want. I have asked a thousand questions over the course of my life when a direction I want to go has a roadblock. And many days, months, or years later, an answer often comes my way. The timing was wrong. It would have been a bad fit for me, my family, or my gifts. I needed to be present for other people and an opportunity would have pulled me away.  There were lessons I needed to learn before something was resolved. I needed to completely trust in God first. As one direction has a roadblock, another direction opens up. God points me in the place I need to go, it is up to me to quit fighting Him and obey.

I have learned that when I invite God into the equation, God does indeed have a plan. And I think part of His plan is that He wants us to grow more like Christ. That is often hard to do when we are happily running our own lives, living how we want, carefree, getting what we want much of the time, without really understanding where God wants us to grow. And often growth is hard, rigorous, challenging, sometimes not fun, and sometimes downright painful. These are areas of our lives that we tend to shy away from. But that is often where God wants to lead us. God knows that through these experiences we grow more deeply into Christ-like individuals.

God’s ways are not our ways. His power, glory, mercy, grace, and understanding are so far above ours. His plans are always bigger (and often better) than the ones we set for ourselves. But having Him as part of our life equation is a good thing, as He knows us better than we know ourselves, and His goal is to make us more like His Son.

If you are struggling with some type of rejection or roadblock this week, move closer to God. Rest in His loving arms. Turn your life over to Him, and watch how He will show you a new direction.

Prayer—“God, help me to give my life over to you and quit running it myself. I invite you into my life decisions, and ask for discernment when roadblocks come my way. Help me to see your greater plan for my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

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