Saturday, September 16, 2017

God's Cliché

"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 
In the past, Jeremiah 29:11 conveyed almost a cliché  The verse was just an overused Christian platitude, belonging to the many scriptures indicating trust in God's plan. Now, I have a different perception.

I always expected the plans I had for my life to align with God's. I was certain that I would follow the patterns of a typical Christian. The vision entailed pursuing a higher education where I would later establish a teaching career. I wanted church and mission trips, to be married young, a yellow house with a white picket fence, and four biological children—2 boys and 2 girls...if we are being specific.

Time, however, made it abundantly clear that God has a different outline. I got sick and it changed things. I was left perplexed—confused and scratching my head, questioning God, and kind of angry.

With a stubborn personality, it is almost instinct to initially discount opinions, views, and overall plans that are not unparallel to one's own. They are different and different must mean incorrect or inferior. On occasion though, it can come as a surprise that those once rejected ideas are eventually accepted after deeper contemplation.

But is God ever wrong? His plans are the opposite of the plans I had concocted prior to becoming chronically ill. I am too sick to attend church. Mission trips are out of the question. My college courses are strictly online. Teaching is likely not a practical career with my illness. An "in sickness and in health" marriage will have to be under unfortunate "in sickness and in sickest" conditions. And I am not healthy enough for biological children.

So, it is difficult not to jump to the conclusion that God's obviously contrasting plans are wrong. His divine nature does not render Him free from our humanly projections. However, it does give all the more reason to warm up to His will.

Jeremiah 29:11 is no longer a hackneyed bible verse. It really is brimming with meaning. Lack of experience simply inhibited my understanding. It is a reminder that God has plans to prosper and never to harm, even when I cannot fathom how that can be and when everything possible is going awry.

Yes, God's plans can not compare to my own. They are better.