When I look at my life, I still try to find my own solutions. I am getting better about letting God handle situations in my life. I sometimes still find myself thinking that something looks good enough. God has something better, that I have not even imagined.
Five years ago, we were going to sell our house and wanted to move into a beautiful new house. We found an agent and put our house on the market. The house did not sell. My husband’s work contract ended, so he was not working. All our plans fell apart.
My husband was out of work for 7 months. During this time, I had an emergency surgery and my dad died. It felt like we had nobody to help us. Our children were 2 and 4 years old at the time. I started praying. Our plans had not worked. So, we trusted that God was going to show us where to move and give my husband a job. Other things came up along the way. We could have settled for less, thinking that we lost everything. It was hard to let go of how our lives looked, and trust in God, but we knew that God had something better for us.
I remember my sister-in-law calling my husband on a Sunday afternoon. She said that she felt like she had to share this bible verse with us. God has plans for us to prosper and not to harm us. God has plans to give us a hope and a future.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
–Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
God had a much better plan for us. Seven months later, my husband had a job interview and got a job that day on April 17, and he started on April 27. This time we prayed for the right agent, and our house sold. God had shown us the neighborhood, and when the house came on the market, I knew it was our house. It was not as new and fancy as we thought we wanted, but it had everything we needed and even things we didn’t know that we needed. Four years later, I can say that it has great schools, great neighbors and has increased in value. I cannot believe we actually live here. God did so much more than we could see at the time.
Remember that beautiful new house that we thought we wanted five years ago? Last night, my husband was telling me that the county was buying those houses back from the owners. Apparently, they are in a flood zone. The first floor and basements have already flooded, and a more serious flood would destroy the houses completely. Whoa. Its another reminder to praise God for being so good to us.
When things don’t work out how we planned, thank God. Thank God when your plans do not work out. We may find out the reason, or we may never know. We can trust that God’s outcome was the best for us.
God sees what we do not. God’s ways are not our own. In the bible, Jesus has a huge crowd coming toward him. They are listening to him preach, and they were hungry. He asked Philip how they should buy bread for all these people. Philip does what I do, looks around at the people and starts calculating the cost. It was too expensive and would not buy enough to satisfy everyone.
Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
–John 6:5-6 (NKJV)
Jesus asked Philip to test him. When we try and do things on our own, its too costly and does not satisfy us. We need to turn to Jesus and say I don’t have an answer to this problem. What should I do, Jesus?
In this instance of the bible, a boy had 5 loaves of bread and two fish. How would that help feed the huge crowd? If you rely only on what you can see, it would not help at all. However, if you trust in God’s outcome, everything will be more than fine.
One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
–John 6:8-9 (NKJV)
Jesus had the crowd of people sit down. He gave God thanks for the bread and fish. He told everyone to have as much as they wanted. Everyone ate until they were satisfied. After they finished, Jesus had the disciples gather up the left overs of the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Ummm, leftovers? Yes, 12 baskets were full of the leftovers. Jesus can take a small sacrifice and turn it into a bountiful blessing to many people. The men declared that Jesus must be the prophet.
Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
–John 6:10-14 (NKJV)
When I do things on my own, I spin my wheels. I am never really satisfied. When I trust in God, everything is taken care of, even the things that I did not know I needed. God protects us from making choices that are not good for us. When we turn to God, we can be blessed with more than we imagined. Thank you God, for being so good to us!