You know how sometimes we go through a hard experience or a rough phase and you work up the gusto to talk to someone about it and they’re all:
Or they say something along those lines, like Oh, God has a plan for you, don’t worry or It’s all in God’s timing, just wait or God has something better in store for you.
Does that actually ever make you feel better?
Now, I’m guilty of saying all of those lines above and frequently. Those are my go-to responses when someone is telling me about a hardship they’re facing.
Key word: they’re
When it’s someone else’s issue, it is so easy for me to look at the situation and know with absolute certainty that God will carry them through whatever they’re facing. I can say with confidence that God will provide for them through their struggles. I know that through whatever situation just ended poorly for them, God will give them something a thousand times better in their future.
But when I’m facing a hardship, the last thing I want to hear is one of those phrases. I never feel comforted when someone tells me that. I feel like it’s just a cheap answer that people throw around when they don’t know what else to say. I get bitter. I think Oh, well that’s just great. This crappy thing that is happening is part of God’s plan? Some plan.
But in reality, once we get all that venting and self-pity behind us, those truly are some of the most comforting words a fellow human can provide. Think about it, what else could someone say that would make you feel any better? What can be more comforting than knowing that our Lord has a plan to care for us?
The ever-popular Jeremiah 29:11 says “‘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.'”
Recently I had a conversation with a really close friend of mine, and we were talking about waiting for things we really wanted to happen. She and I are waiting and hoping for two totally different things, but we’re experiencings very similar feelings of anxiety, restlessness, impatience, and struggling to trust in God’s plan. I told her “So we’re not exactly in the same boat but we’re hitting the same waves.”
I think that is true of most of us. We may not all be experiencing the same exact hardships, but we’re all waiting or hoping for something. And in those times when we feel anxious, restless, impatient, and have difficulty trusting in God’s plan, I think it is so important to remember that God truly does have a plan for us. It’s ok to feel a little disheartened, a little lost, a little worried, but eventually we have to know that things will turn around because our God is taking care of us. He will make our troubles worthwhile.
I believe that living simply means to encounter struggles. But I also believe that living simply means to believe an all-powerful God who is bigger than any struggle we can face. He has a simple plan for us.