I can still feel the disappointment that ran through every fiber of my being—the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. How could this possibly be, I asked myself? Our plans were coming together, things were working out and our future looked bright. And best of all, our plans seemed to have the finger print of God upon them. Suddenly, boom they vanished in a cloud of dust.
Have you ever had a dream, a desire, a goal that has suddenly come to nothing? You were dreaming of a bright future—you could smell success—adventure filled your veins, and you were infused with passion for a bright new season. And then someone else got the promotion or the sale fell through or there was a sudden tragic event that halted your plan or unexpected illness stopped you in your tracks, all these and more circumstances can mess with our dreams, plans, and the longings of our hearts.
So here is what I have learned as I have reflected on some of the shattered plans of my life. And there have been a few of them!
GOD IS SHOWING HIS MERCY WHEN HE MESSES WITH OUR PLANS.
I have sometimes felt that God was right in the center of the plans we were making. He was there with us, guiding us and leading us on the journey. Then the plan got messed up and left us with a heap of rubble at our feet.
In those moments I have been confused and devastated, but I know enough about my God to know that His plans are infinitely greater than mine. I know He is a good God and does not desire me or my family harm. So in those moments I run to Him. And I mean I literally throw myself on His mercy. You see, I do believe that God is merciful and that is the only reason that He messes with my plans. He knows the things I do not know. He sees the circumstances ahead of me. He is aware of the path I aim to take and the stumbling blocks along that road.
GOD HAS A GREATER PURPOSE WHEN HE MESSES WITH OUR PLANS.
From this perspective in time I see that He had a greater and better plan. In those times, I have to lay my dreams down. Yes, it is difficult especially when you have been filled with this dream day and night. Now your dream is in ashes and you must pick up the broken pieces and move on. Not easy! However, I do know enough about my God to remind myself that He must have something significantly greater in His plan for my life. I remind myself that "His ways are not my ways." Part of trusting the Lord is not "leaning to my own understanding." That is difficult for me. I see things from a human perspective, God sees everything from an eternal one. He is significantly cleverer than I am and so I must trust Him because He knows best.
IF WE KEEP OUR HEARTS PURE HIS PLAN WILL COME TO PASS.
I have seen people become bitter with the Lord. Their disappointment leads them to question Him and some of them even lose their faith. In my view, these are seasons where we have to guard our hearts carefully—we need to remind ourselves of some truths:
- God loves us—He does not want to hurt us
- God is trustworthy—He has a better plan
- God's timing is different to ours—He has an eternal perspective
So, if you are like me you have felt the agonizing sense of loss and disappointment when your plan has failed—when God has messed with the dreams and desires that you had. But if you focus on His mercy, love, kindness, and faithfulness, you will understand that He has something far better for you in the future. You may not see it now, it may take some time, but you will see and experience His goodness.
My prayer is that your heart will be encouraged today. As your dream lies in ashes at your feet, take courage, He will make something beautiful arise from the ashes of your life. He always does!