It can be hard to keep the faith and journey forward when life throws you a curve ball. I learned that I will soon be out of a job and am struggling to see God’s hand here. I know it is there, but when the sting is fresh, it is hard to believe life’s upsets are part of his plan. “Remain steadfast,” I tell myself when everything seems be unraveling before my eyes. “Persevere,” I see in my own writings. But: “how?” and “why?” and “what now?” cloud my thinking right now.
There is a verse in Proverbs 16:9 that says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” This goes with the old Yiddish saying: “Man plans and God laughs.” I was reminded by someone that God saw this coming even though I did not. It would be easy for me to become frantic about my finances and my grandiose plans for the coming months, but the truth is—those were my plans. There was a part of me that realized that I was riding on the edge again with some grand schemes I thought I could circumvent the process just a little to get what I want.
You see, this is what happens when you step on the God road forward. The road may have bumps in it. You may steer clear to avoid them only to land in the ditch. Once back on the path, the road may smooth out for a while, until the next pothole throws you out of alignment. Correction follows correction. Gripping hard to the steering wheel of self will is only likely to send you flying in the wrong direction. Loosening the grip and gradually steering down the road of change is more likely to get you where you need to be. Hold firm instead to God’s promises and live to see the solutions unfold.
“We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.” Proverbs 16:33
These bumps today lead me back to where I can trust that God will provide for all my needs. Jesus tells us not to “worry about everyday life” and to be content that we have enough to cover our basic needs. There is nothing to be gained from worrying about tomorrow. If I allow those thoughts to dominate my thinking, I will most likely derail my progress by thinking that all has been lost. I would much rather stay hopeful and believe that all these pieces fit together for my good, as he would have it.
I am learning that I have to adjust my plans to better align with God’s plans. I have learned not to doubt that there is purpose in these bumps. If I can remain steadfast, I can also get through to the other side of pain and discomfort much faster. God has hit me with the two-by-four again and has closed the door. I prayed and he answered. I dug my heels in when he said: “go” and now I am gone! It will all be good. I will grow. I will be stronger. And I will be right where God wants me to be. Where I have needed to be all along.
How do you deal with life’s curve balls? How do you keep moving forward when your plans have been upset? I would love you hear what scriptures help you keep on the path when life knocked you off.
2 replies on “Keeping the Faith”
For me it’s a case of ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’. Nietsche said ‘what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger’, and Buddhism tells us that we are not given any burden that we are unable to bear – the choice to bear or not is up to us. There is a common thread in these three, which is that we are often distracted by little things – material things which in the end are unimportant. What is important is the people we love and those who are under our protection. And the way we choose to live our lives and the way we treat others – especially those less fortunate or weaker or less able to cope than ourselves. Having lived through a natural disaster, I found that my priorities changed quite radically. The material world is impermanent, what counts is who we are inside, and how we deal with life. Did I call on God during the disaster? no, I was too busy fighting the fire. Afterwards I felt calm. I had survived. I had come close to losing everything. In the end I had my health and my life’s experiences and a new relationship with my neighbours who that day became a community. These things mattered, not a house full of belongings. And now I have this yardstick – is it as bad as that fire? Very little will come close to that. So life throws changes at us. Will I survive? Probably, so what am I really worried about? It’s only life.
Thanks Jerry. I think for many the challenge is to keep moving forward. It is far to easy to get stuck asking why these things are happening to me and derail one’s progress. For me, I pray and keep moving. When things don’t go my way, I don’t sweat it as much as I once did. I don’t know the big picture or how all the pieces fit together. I just have faith and trust that I will be carried forward. I love that you have this benchmark now. I have to remember that for myself. I am in a good place today. Losing my job even six months ago would have me frantic. Today I can handle things better and I know that I can grow from the experience. New opportunities always await us!!