Our God is frustrating. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way, but I mean to catch your attention. God is sovereign and all knowing, and He orchestrates all things according to His own plan. We make plans every day, even if they are spontaneous, they're still our plans. We decide that we are going to have a burger for lunch, we decide today is the day to propose, we plan to get a paper done today, and we decide that in two weeks we are going to go on vacation. None of these things are bad, though many people plan to do wrong according to Proverbs 15:26. But our God is a God of frustration. Proverbs 16:9 says "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Not all of our plans pan out.
I have been learning that this year. I had plans to come to Patrick Henry College and graduate here, then to find a job I love and to get married. These plans are all pretty vague, except that I planned a specific place I wanted to be when I graduated. Now it looks like God has other plans. It seems I ignored James' advice. "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." I had counted on my own plans, and now, due to circumstances out of my control (God's hand, as far as I can tell) my plans have been frustrated. I was upset, in more than one sense of the term. Like many saints before me I was displaced from where I thought God wanted me. My own plans were not His. God makes this clear in Jeremiah 55:8-9. What makes my situation worse is my original reaction. I was angry. Why would God bring me here just long enough that I should get comfortable, then force me to leave? Why would He let me come at all? These questions put me in an analogous position to Jonah. Not the sitting in the belly of a big fish, where Jonah learned to repent and obey God, but sitting under a withered weed where Jonah questioned God's mercy and justice. I was sitting under the withered weed of my self-centered hopes and blaming God for killing a plant I didn't even raise. I didn't do anything extraordinary to get to Patrick Henry, I was trusting God for every cent to pay for the education. I had even made this clear to myself beforehand. So when I found out I wouldn't be able to come back next semester, I should have accepted the change as God's new plan for my life, but instead, I questioned His wisdom.
Recently I have been getting over my resentment. Almost every conversation I have had in the last week has centered around the goodness of God and His plans for my future. Romans 8:28 has been coming to mind frequently. Though out of context, I have been connecting the idea of God's good plans for me from here and Jeremiah 29:11 with a passage in James 1, where James tells us that all good things come from God. God's plans for me are good. In this I have faith. He is good, sovereign and will not fail to reward those who love Him, be it on earth or in the Kingdom.
George Müller is one of my heroes. His faith that God would provide everything he needed and that God's will for him was where he needed to be was seemingly unwavering. (Though as a man, I suspect he had many doubts.) I came to Patrick Henry wanting to be like George Müller, never wanting for anything because of God's provision, but I didn't have the faith to let God choose my path. I tried to direct my own way and then let God provide what I needed to follow it. Who is to say God won't still do this, but I suspect God wants me to follow a different path now, and that He will provide, but in a much different way than I had planned. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
-From my desk at Patrick Henry College
In faith, Justus
Proverbs 15:26, Proverbs 16:9, James 4:13-14, Jeremiah 55:8-9, Jonah 4, Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11, James 1:17, Proverbs 3:5-6
- Hi, my name is Justus, I'm a Christian.I attended Patrick Henry College for three semesters, and I transfered to College of the Ozarks in the fall of 2013 where I graduated as an English major in 2016. I love the Lord Jesus Christ the savior of my soul. He has made me new. He leads me in the Old Path; He is the Way. I am not perfect; my Lord is sanctifying me though.