By. D. C. Randall
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
You’re not making as much money as you thought you would by now. So and so hasn’t been in the field as long as you have and she makes more money than you. You thought you would’ve moved out on your own by now. Your friend just invited you to his new place, but you still live with your parents. You thought you would’ve gotten a better job by now. You’ve been on the search for the last three years while the kid you used to babysit got a job a month after graduating from college. You thought you would be in a relationship/married by now. Your 23-year-old cousin recently got married and you couldn’t stomach going to the wedding and was glad you didn’t get an invitation. (True story.) You thought life would be different, especially because you put your hope in the Lord. But this is the life you know and the biggest question is: Do you think it’s worth living? An even bigger question is: Does God really love me even when He hasn’t met my expectations?
Now, before you pick up rocks at what may seem a blasphemous question, think about this for a moment. We have all developed a certain vision for our lives that is largely framed by the culture in which we reside. I thought life would be a certain way because of my surroundings, my accomplishments, and my own sense of proficiency (call it pride if you will). With all that in mind, I figured I could “do” life, but when life disappointed me, I asked God why. I even blamed Him. After all, I had fallen in love with Him, desired to help others, gone to school, was abstinent, etc. Not perfect, but I followed the so called formula. A + B= C, so where are my C results? Didn’t He love me enough to reward me for the work I’d done? Sounds entitled, doesn’t it? But that’s the mistake we make when we don’t want to allow life to evolve because nobody told you to until you were in the middle of a crisis.
Then I had a revelation: God didn’t promise me that life would go my way and that all my expectations would be met. He did tell me that He knows the thoughts He has toward me, thoughts of good and not of evil, and He wants to give me an expected end (Jer. 29:11). His Word also says that nothing can separate us from His Love (Rom. 8: 28-39). Not distress, not past, not the present. No. Nothing! Not even my own disappointment and resentment that unexpected situations had interrupted my strict idea of what my life is supposed to be like. I had nurtured this idea for so long that it was hard to let go of it. But, God’s love has shown me that He endures even when I have trouble keeping up. You see, His Love is patient enough to handle our meltdowns, kind enough to help us when we don’t want it, and isn’t resentful when we decide our own way is better (1 Cor. 13). He rejoices over us even when we don’t meet our own standards (Zeph. 3:17). His Love still believes in who He created us to be.
Just because you think you’ve failed and life has broken you down doesn’t mean God’s love has somehow diminished. Sometimes, life doesn’t happen on our schedule and truth be told, it’s frustrating, but it isn’t the end. Take a moment to reevaluate your life and how you think about it. I know you have been hurt. So have I. I know you might feel beaten down. I’ve been there, too. You may even feel like God jipped you and have trouble believing in His plans. You’re not alone. But remember He hasn’t forgotten you, even if it feels like it. This is the life you know, and when you desire to live in Him, you’re right where you’re supposed to be. We are His work in progress (Eph. 2:10). He has created us for a purpose, even when life hasn’t met our expectations. Allow Him to help you live this life so you can be open to what He has for you now. That might be a new friendship, an opportunity to learn a new skill set, a chance to travel to a new place, or an occasion to celebrate the progress you’ve made. Give your life to Him; He knows what to do with it.