Sometimes I find, that when we look into our futures, perhaps our five year plan or even longer term, we dream big dreams. Then ‘life happens’ and things don’t turn out the way we thought they would. We may lose a loved one, or go through a marriage crisis, lose a job, have difficulties conceiving, struggle with health, or encounter another difficulty that wasn’t expected.
When I was in my late teens and early twenties I had big dreams for my future. I would graduate with my degree in Education and teach for a while. I would meet Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome, get married, and have our first child by the time I was twenty five with two or three more children by the time I was thirty. Great plan. My plan. The plan that happened to many of my friends at the time. When I was 21 I was diagnosed with cancer. The only treatment? Surgery. No chemo or radiation would respond to my type of cancer. I felt my world crashing right before my eyes. I felt like I had received a death sentence and my dreams and hearts desires would never come true. Looking back I now realize that God used this difficult time in my life to help shape me. He used this time to clear out a spirit of fear that had a stronghold in my life. I remained single/dating for the next nine years and it wasn’t until the year I turned 30 that I finally surrendered my perfectly dreamed out future to God and it was in this year that my initial dream started to come true. Ten years later than I had planned. But God’s plan is always perfect.
Over these ten plus years I came to realize that God created me (and you) with specific gifts and talents and He has us here on earth for a purpose:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
He promises to go with us wherever we go. Wherever we are. He is there to prosper us and not to harm us. To give us a HOPE and a FUTURE.
Sometimes things in life happen that catch us off guard. They hurt. They make us stop and think and question things. But God promises us that he is with us always. These things that took us by surprise didn’t take God by surprise at all. He has a good and perfect plan for your life. He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
It is true, we can be thrown into all sorts of setbacks in life, but God commands us to set these aside and lift our eyes to Jesus. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 God is the Author and the Finisher of our life.
Learning this has really encouraged me to live more boldly and dream boldly. He has great things in store for us. No, it’s not always easy because sometimes doubt or fear sets in. But this does not come from God. God has commanded us to be strong and courageous:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”