when life doesn’t go as planned

I love schedules.

I love efficiency.

I love planning.

Sometimes, the things I write–learning them are pure torture for me.

Grace?  Slow?  Quiet?

Yeah, most of the time, I forget…I lose focus…I don’t get it.

I want everything planned.

Well, especially when it feels like everybody else’s got it figured out.  I want to have it all figured out too!

So from childhood, I’ve had these plans.  These ideas as to how I think life is gonna go.

“Sure, I’ll grow up, and turn 18, then this will happen, and I’ll do this, and this, and this…”

And I even fool myself into thinking…that my way is what will glorify God most.

So as I grow up.  I turn 18.  I turn 21.  Life comes.

And it’s not what I expected.  It’s not what I had planned.

But I can’t do anything to change it.

And I even continue the foolery, thinking that if life had gone my way that God would have been glorified more than where I am right now.  Oh, the illusion.

Then I read about Joseph.  A promising boy, 17 years old…sold into slavery by his own brothers.

What about his plans?  What about those vital years of his youth?  He had a vision too!

But Joseph spent a combination of 13 years either in slavery or in prison.

13.  Years.

156 months.
676 weeks.
4,745 days.
113,880 hours.
6,832,800 minutes.
409,968,000 seconds.

Wasted.

Or was it?

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” ~Genesis 50:20

Joseph recognized that the change in plans in his life, though it was painful, though it was long, was used for the ultimate glory of God in a way that he could not have ever even imagined.  But the thing was, he had to wait.

And he had to be faithful where he was.

He never would have been so trusted by Pharaoh if he had not continued faithful devotion to the Lord, which enabled him to interpret Pharoah’s dreams.  And if he had been a rowdy prisoner, or a slacker in his duties in Potiphar’s household–would he have even stood a chance in standing before Pharaoh?

Many, many years later, as he sits in prison, another faithful man pens these words,

Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel…” ~Philippians 1:12

The Apostle Paul knew that God’s glory was beyond him.  It was beyond his plans, beyond anything that he could ever comprehend.

So as he sat in jail, he could have been thinking, “I could be talking to so many people about Jesus right now…I could be so much more effective if I wasn’t in prison!”

No.  He embraces it, and realizes that God’s plan is for His own glory.  God never compromises on His glory.

Where He has you and me right now is the very best place in the universe that we can ever be used for His glory.  He knows the beginning and the end.  It’s His job to guide us to where we can glorify Him most.

Ours is to follow His lead.  And when we’re sitting in prison.  Or stuck in one place.  Or working a job we feel stagnant in.  Or feel like we’re spinning our wheels on relationships.

Wherever we are, to be faithful and continue seeking His face.

To trust that where we are right now is the absolute perfect place.

The place that we can bring Him the most glory out of all the places in the universe.

Because it’s where He has us.  Today.  Right now.

Amy B
Editor
Jesus lover. Obsessive coffee drinker. Chocolate consumer. Plays guitar. Sings too loud. Apple girl. Wordaholic. Bookie. Music junkie. Techy. Unlikely hipster.

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