By Joan Clayton
Have you ever wondered if God really is in control of your life and if he knows every detail? Have you gone down a dark trail of pain and asked, “Why me?” If you have, you are not alone. Many of the biblical giants (“heroes of faith”) had the same feelings.
Think of Abraham. He had trouble believing he and Sarah would have a child at their advanced age, but he stayed faithful to God in obedience anyway, and God proved faithful.
We cannot always see God’s overall plan for our lives, but rest assured, he has one. Consider Joseph. Joseph seemed to go from one calamity to another. His brothers put him in a pit and then sold him into slavery. Later, when he refused to sin with Potiphar’s wife, Joseph ended up in the dungeon. Joseph experienced many hardships but God’s plan eventually placed him in charge of Egypt. God’s plan for Joseph saved the Israelites from famine.
I love Joseph’s statement to his brothers, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20).
God’s plan for Moses enabled him to lead two million Israelites across the Red Sea, saving them from the Egyptians. God’s provision for all of those people is miraculous! The food and water for that many had to be enormous. Just the firewood required to cook the food must have been gigantic … and they spent 40 years traveling.
“Their clothing did not wear out nor did their feet swell” (Deuteronomy 8:4). I know Moses didn’t figure all this out before he left Egypt, yet he trusted God for everything. Now if God met all of those needs, will he not meet yours or mine? “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
Jeremiah 29:11 has the blueprint for our lives: “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.”
I fondly remember my grandmother’s embroidery. The topside revealed a myriad of beautiful colors, depicting perfect stitches and design. When I looked at the underside of the embroidery, I only saw a mess of threads going in all directions. It looked messy and jumbled, but oh, the beauty of the topside. I hadn’t realized a plan for beauty existed for Granny to follow. She followed that plan, not only in embroidery, but throughout her 92 years of life as well.
Sometimes life seems to run in all directions. The threads seem dark and all messed up. Many hard times seem to prevail. Financial crisis, illnesses of loved ones or having misunderstanding in relationships displays the “underside” of a messy embroidered life. That happens when we keep looking on the wrong side.
Do I just praise God in the good times? No, because God is still God and I must keep my faith. Knowing God has a plan for you and for me enables us to be victorious, even in the midst of problems.
In this journey of life, we must pick up the pieces and keep right on going with God. Keep looking on the topside of the embroidery and focus on the plan God has for you. It displays beauty and design … a plan to “prosper you, to give you a hope and a future.”
Whatever you may be facing today, take courage and trust in God’s faithfulness.
God has a plan for you!
Joan Clayton is a retired teacher, writer and religion columnist living in Portales. E-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org