Trusting God When Life Isn’t How You Pictured It

“This is not what I expected.” Have you ever said this about your life? I know I’m guilty of dreaming up my future with a list of hopes and wants for me and my family. As I get older, I often find myself in a season that looks nothing like I imagined. Anyone else relate? And when it doesn’t go your way, have you ever asked God, “Why?” Or, have you ever asked Him to “hurry up and show me your plan for me”?

I know I struggle with this. I hate to admit it, but I have said those words in prayer many times. I have to remind myself it is God’s plan, not mine. It’s His timing, not mine. There are days when it is a tug of war match in my prayers and I have to force myself to push aside the version I have started to dream up. And it’s hard! Even though I know God’s plan will be better than anything I could imagine, it still doesn’t make my earthly desire to control things, or envision things, go away. I am constantly searching for help on this issue.

If you look in the Bible, David is a great example of this. David was to become the King of Israel; he was a hero for conquering Goliath, he led many battles; later he became the head of military operations and married the king’s daughter. He had it all! Then, because of a jealous king, David spent the next ten years running from Saul, stuck in a cave with a motley crew of misfits. I think we can all agree that this is probably not how David pictured his journey to become the next King of Israel.

In difficult times like this, we might be tempted to believe that God has abandoned us. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is in these challenging times that we must put ALL of our faith in God. We cannot quit on Him and we cannot question Him. Instead, we must continue to lean in and follow Him. We must wait and trust in His plan.

As the story of David shows, God’s destiny for our lives does not change because of our circumstances. Eventually David became the king of Israel, it just wasn’t the path he expected. But through his new path, and the challenges he faced, David became an even better king. He was more compassionate and tolerant. He was better because of his journey. As you can see, there is no greater gift than seeing God’s destiny for us rise above any vision we had.

As you tackle your next challenge, or as you wait for the next chapter to unfold, stop daydreaming about what you want it to look like. Stop trying to map out your destiny. Instead, focus on God and how He has a perfect plan for you. Wait patiently for it, and it will eventually unfold. And as you wait, remember it is going to be wonderful because it was always His plan for you.