Parker, AZ Travel Vlog | Devotional
“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.”Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
A little girl runs up to her mom, “Mama, can I have that huge candy bar?”
“No, honey, it will give you a belly ache, but you can have a little ice cream from the fridge later.”
The little girl stalks off and talks her older sibling into getting it for her. At last, she can enjoy the humongous chocolate bar. She digs in, not stopping after the ache in her belly has started. The chocolate bar did not withstand the cravings of this small girl, but it did offer payback in the form of, you guessed it, a belly ache just like mama said. The girl’s mom walks in, “Oh sweetie, I didn’t want you feeling like this, you should have listened to my plan. Now you can’t even have the ice cream.”
The Chocolate Bar Looked Better
We can often be like the little girl in the opening. There is a plan that we have in mind and we want to stick to that plan at all costs, even if it hurts us. We experienced this as we drove to Swansea, AZ but was stopped due to a race. There were many times throughout the planning process that we checked to make sure that we could get to Swansea. Even through this planning, God wanted us to go somewhere else.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”Proverbs 16:9 ESV
We probably would not have wanted to go to Pirate’s Den for a full travel vlog, but when our plans for Swansea got changed we had 2 choices, go home or figure something else out to do for the travel vlog. In the same way, we must seek the will of the Lord.
Temper Tantrum or Bust
If we went home, we would have basically been pouting, tucking our tail between our legs, and/or throwing a miniature tantrum that we didn’t get what we want so we will give up altogether. This is not what God wants in those instances, however. The following verses in Jeremiah 29 prompt believers to pray and seek God and, when we do, we are promised that we will find Him. You hear that?! We will always find Him because He is always there.
God promises that He is there when we need Him… and we need Him all the time. Thus, when these instances pop up in life, we should not be discouraged and give up, we must, rather, look at where God might be in the situation. God does the unexpected which is unexpected because we have a problem of trying to see instances according to the flesh rather than His ways.
When Life Goes Wrong
Problems and road blocks in life seem like they are literally the end of the road, we don’t see how we can get through them nor how God can love us in that situation. We often forget, though, that His ways are higher than our ways.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My [God’s] ways higher than your ways and My [God’s] thoughts than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:9 ESV
I don’t know about you, but this verse humbles me a lot! Life gets hard and we feel loss of control and we don’t know what to do about that loss of control than to try to regain it. Imagine you lost your job, someone ran into your car and your family is down to one car, or a loved one is battling cancer. You might react according to human nature and lean into your own understanding instead of seeking God’s thoughts and ways. What does that do for us, though? We often only get frustrated and confused in those moments.
Seek God’s Plans
Breathe. When life hits hard, take a breath. Refocus your sight on God’s ways and let the loss of control lead you to the One who is in control. In Isaiah, God mentions the heavens being higher than the earth. He reminds us that He is the One who created those, He is the One who sits in heaven in holiness and righteousness. God claims His authority over everything and His power of redemption. Why wouldn’t we trust Him?
So, after that moment of defeat that we all have, recognize the hope of God calling out to you. The situation might seem bleak, but maybe there is another job that allows you to witness to another coworker, maybe that different route you have to take without a car is so that you can help someone along the way, or maybe that family member who has cancer needs to feel God’s love or those who don’t know about the eternal life God gives need to hear about it. Your journey will end up like ours, resting in paradise; wherever God is, there is paradise, there is peace in His sovereign presence. When life hits you hard, you can hit back harder by not letting it phase you because you have the creator of the universe on your side.
The next time you are surprised by something unexpected, will you still try to find a way to the chocolate bar, or will you flourish in the blessings that come from the unexpected?