“Dream Big!” That’s the message we grow up listening to. We’re encouraged to make big plans for our future. Unfortunately, though, our lives rarely unfold the way we dreamed them to.
Now don’t get me wrong, having big dreams for our lives is good! Envisioning ourselves with successful and prosperous lives is ok! Yet God desires for us to trust the process He has us in, even if our lives look different than we expected.
Trusting God with Our Future
God’s desire for us is to trust not in our circumstances but in the creator of the dreams we long for. When we trust harder rather than dream bigger, we acknowledge that God is in charge of our dreams, not us. However, if we dream big rather than trust hard, we assume our dreams and desires are up to us to fulfill.
God did not create us to depend on our own strength and ability. He intended for us to derive our strength and ability from Him alone.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5
Life is a Journey
I’m under 30. Some people believe that to be very young. Others think it’s the age to have your whole life figured out. I tend to believe the latter Yet I’m learning that life is a journey with each new day.
We should live life one day at a time and not rushed. Embrace one day at a time, depend on God’s daily bread, and don’t worry about tomorrow.
The Trouble with Planning
Since I was a young girl in high school, I remember planning my life and how it should all play out the moment I graduated high school.
In a perfect world, I would graduate high school, attend college, major in biology, and take my prerequisites for medical school. Meanwhile, my future husband would make his way into my life, fall in love with me, and we would experience life together. After graduating from college, I would get married and get accepted into medical school. From there I would become a pediatric doctor. After becoming a doctor, children would be in the picture, and my life would be successful and marvelous!
That is, until God redirected me.
Instead, I attended university, started off with majoring in biology then switched to majoring in public health after realizing God was calling me to ministry. Consequently, this left me with uncertainty about my career. Though I did meet a great guy in college, our relationship did not work out. I graduated college with no plan or agenda. I was confused, directionless, and frustrated with my life.
But between then and now, God has given me clarity about His plans and purposes for my life. He is teaching me to trust Him more, and not depend on my circumstances.
The Unexpected Journey
Although my life did not unfold the way I envisioned it, it has taught me a lot about God. It has taught me about His perfect plans for my life and future and for the lives of others.
I can easily blame myself for my life not unfolding the way I planned it. Sure, I could have done things differently. But at the end of the day, God is sovereign over everything. He is sovereign over the lives of His children.
Related Post: The Godly Practice of Living in the Present Moment
Through this journey of unexpected detours and redirection, God has helped me see my circumstances from His perspective. I have learned to thank God for not allowing my plans for the future to happen the way I hoped they did. Blaming God for our situation never resolves anything.
Life’s Not Easy
Sweet friend, life was never meant to be easy. If life were easy, we wouldn’t have a reason to pursue God or seek His guidance for our lives. Furthermore, life was not meant to unfold the way we wish it did. Life was designed for us to depend on God. Even Jesus had to depend on God for the way His life would unfold.
“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36
The Bible tells us that Jesus did not want to experience the suffering of dying on the cross. In fact, He prayed to God to spare Him from having to endure the pain of being nailed on the cross. Jesus knew what was to come for Him, which is why He prayed and asked God for another way if possible. He believed that anything and everything is possible for God. Jesus was not afraid to express His fears to God.
Though Jesus prayed for an alternative route, He still prayed for God’s will to be done instead of His. God’s will was ultimately the best for all of us. And the same holds true in our own lives.
Without Jesus’s crucifixion, you and I wouldn’t have the privilege of a relationship with God the way we do. His selfless sacrifice paved the way. Jesus trusted God, and His obedience saved us from the consequences of eternal death.
Jesus is the perfect example for us to follow when we feel anxious or scared about our future. As humans, we want our life to unfold a certain way, we want a specific career, we want a certain spouse, and we want what our flesh craves – the opposite of what God wants for us.
Bring Your Fears To Your Father
The best way to approach our insecurities about our future is by bringing them to God in prayer. As Jesus did, we should pray for God’s will to be done.
Friend, we can trust that no matter what we go through or what our life looks like right now, God will make all things work out for us (Romans 8:28). He used Jesus’s pain and suffering to bring salvation to the world. He too will use our pain and suffering to bring glory to His name and freedom to our realm of influence.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
We can rest in knowing that God’s ways are far better than what we believe is good for us.
Let’s chat: What will it take for you to say, “Not my will but your will God?” For me, it will take surrendering my own plans and agenda for God’s greater plans and agenda for my life.