God's word in today's world

The bigger plan


I ran into a friend of mine at the gym, and could immediately see that things weren’t good on the Monday morning. And not only because he went overboard over the weekend and now found exercising difficult. He was on his way to a client when that person called to say he wasn’t feeling well and for the umpteenth time postponed their meeting indefinitely. It made him angry.

My friend was out of sorts, because you see, for months his business has been struggling to get off the ground. It seemed as if nothing worked. Suddenly, out of the blue, without even looking for it, he received a job offer. He hadn’t asked for it, but was becoming more and more excited about it, wondering whether this was how God’s plans were starting to roll out in his life. Just to be left broken after another unsuccessful interview, leaving him disappointed.

And at home the relationships were also breaking down …

At times like these you’re left with so many questions running around in your head. You wonder what God’s plan plan is and where you as human being actually fit in? Do you have a place in God’s plan at all?

While he was talking I was reminded of the section in the Bible describing Paul’s imprisonment. It was probably not really to his liking to spend his valuable time in prison. But God allowed it so that Paul could spend the time writing and today those God-given words help us along the way.

I shared Paul’s story with my friend and said that Paul had probably not seen the bigger picture. All he saw was that he was wasting his time in prison. He probably saw the picture of the people struggling in Ephesus and wondered why God didn’t rescue him from prison so that he could go and help them. But God did have a plan with Paul’s life. A plan that would have much bigger results than Paul’s own little plans.

Without ignoring my friend’s difficult circumstances, I tried to encourage him and to paint a different picture. God always has a plan. We’re not always able to see the whole picture and that is why it simply doesn’t make sense. It’s incomprehensible to us. We’re only human after all.

But sometimes we must consciously pick ourselves up and paint the bigger picture. Like Paul we must say: 2-3I take it that you’re familiar with the part I was given in God’s plan for including everybody. I got the inside story on this from God himself, as I just wrote you in brief. Yes, God has a plan for each of us and that plan is: 6They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.

That is the bigger picture. And that is why God uses the circumstances in which we find ourselves to carry out his bigger plan for our lives. Also when we struggle with life and when it feels as if nothing will ever work out right. Also where you may be struggling in your business, or where your working conditions may not be really nice every day, or when your finances fall apart and your relationships are shattered. God can use all of these circumstances to bring about his plan.

Sometimes we must look past the reality and believe that God will make everything work out. Sometimes, despite the reality, we must keep holding on to the promises in the Bible that God will never leave us alone. Yes indeed, maybe it’s time to simply believe in God’s bigger plan in the midst of and despite the way your life looks like now.

Scripture:

Ephesians 3:1-13

Reflection

Do you believe in God’s plan?

Do you believe that God has a plan for your life?

Can you keep holding on to God in spite of your circumstances?

Prayer

Our Father in heaven, sometimes life becomes simply too hard for me and then I struggle to believe. Sometimes I can hardly believe there is a plan for my life and that You are still in control. I would like to keep holding onto your plan, Lord. Please help me not to give up. Please help me to keep on believing, even when life looks the way it does now. Amen

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