Trusting God's Plan
God is always working His good and perfect will into the lives of His children. Some of the worst events in our lives end either working out or having a lifechanging outcome for the better. Have you ever had a moment where you felt like you can’t explain how it ended up with a good outcome?
When I was a boy, my brothers, my dad and I were fishing at a pond on the other side of the street in front of my grandmother’s house. The water flowed under the street and passed through a stone filter before turning into a stream alongside my grandmother’s property. While trying to get a fish loose, my dad knocked into my older brother. My brother fell back into me and we both ended up in the pond. Out of panic when I sank into the water, I reached out and there happened to be a board that ran across the underpass of the street. Since, I grabbed onto the board, my brother was able to hold onto my legs. That board’s existence saved us from getting sucked under the street and drowning. We were rescued moments later by my father and grandfather. In this instance God had saved my life, but these life changing moments of Heavenly providence don’t always have to be life threatening.
At my wife’s last job there was an opportunity to move to a different department, have a pay increase, and more responsibility. She was hesitant of possibly changing to a role that would present different kinds challenges and work that she currently loved doing. Yet, she knew something had to change because she was being overwhelmed in her current role. She also had encouragement from the would be boss and other close coworkers, so she decided to interview for this opportunity. After making it through to the end of interview process that consisted of many months, the would be boss lead her to believe the job was hers. However, when it came for HR to approve the job offer, they denied the promotion. Throughout the interview process, the new boss and interviewers told my wife that she was an excellent fit for the role, but ultimately the answer was no. My wife prayed for comfort, wisdom, and poured her feelings out to God. Not more than a few weeks later, she interviewed for a new company and was hired on the spot. She now works from home, is valued for her work, and has a more serene work environment. God’s initial ‘no’ turned a bleak situation to a beneficial change to my wife’s life.
Just like in our personal stories, one can also see God’s providence in the Bible with Elijah’s story. 1 Kings 17 tells the story of Elijah prophesying a drought and the situations that transpired shortly afterward. After he predicted the drought the Lord told Elijah, “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” (1 Kings 17:3) Elijah then went to and lived at the brook as the Lord commanded. Between the ravens bringing him food twice a day and the water from the brook, Elijah was well provided for by God. However, 1 Kings 17:6 reads, “And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.” Being in a desert with no water, anyone would begin to panic and expect to die, but Elijah wasn’t alone. The Lord told Elijah, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” The Lord provided for Elijah again at his time of need.
Elijah trusted that the Lord had a plan and will continually provide, so he went to Zarephath. There he met a widow and asked her for water and a morsel of bread. She replied saying, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” (1 Kings 17:12) Elijah tells her not to fear, but to make the bread as she planned, but before she does to bring the provisions as he requested. Then he told what the Lord had said to him, “The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.” She did as she was told and they all ate for many days without running out of the flour and oil. Her son then became sick and she devastated because he had passed away from His illness. Elijah cried out to the Lord on her behalf and her son was brought back to life. She then professed to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” (1 Kings 17:24)
Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” God has His hand in everything that His children do. He is the God of hope, which means His will for His children is ultimately one of good. Sometimes as His children we need to be patient and trusting till it arrives—but it always will. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” When we are baptized and accept Jesus Christ, we are given a promise by the Lord that if we remain faithfully obedient our hope of eternal prosperity will never be taken away from us