I am a self-confessed planner; I like to know what is going to happen in the future. I can go with the flow, but I feel much better if I have a long-term plan. This can make being a parent of young adults difficult, at times. I certainly love this stage of parenting, but I don’t love all the unanswered questions: What will they study? Where will they work? Where will they live? And the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I am not afraid of these things happening, I just don’t like the feeling of uncertainty that comes along with it.
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I want to share some truths with you that God has reminded me of lately and that have provided me with comfort in the uncertainty of life.
Firstly, no matter how much I want to think differently, I am not in control. God is. And He is at work all the time for our ultimate good.
Just this past week, as I was praying for my children, friends and family—some of who are facing uncertainty and struggles that I can barely imagine—I was reminded of the lyrics to a Hawk Nelson song called “Outside the Lines”. The chorus goes: "Don't worry, you'll do just fine. Our God is working all of the time. And when the sun comes up, You'll see He paints outside the lines. He paints outside the lines."
These words reminded me, that even when I can’t see what God is doing, even when things don’t go as I have imagined they would, God has his own plan. And He is always working. Even when I don’t know what He is doing or how it will work out. The truth of Romans 8:28 is a great comfort: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I have lived long enough to see this truth proven time and time again; God is faithful, and He takes even our darkest moments and uses them for good.
In fact, God reminded me of this truth again this week while listening to the story of Esther. Esther had no idea the plans God had for her. She had no idea that God planned to use her to save the lives of His people. All she knew was that she could trust God. She was obedient and she was brave. In fact, her story reminded me of what we heard in last week’s sermon; to bring all things to our God in prayer.
So, this week I have had the strong sense that God is trying to teach me something. And I think I’m starting to get it. My challenge now is to be like Esther; to be obedient, to be brave and to bring my cares and worries to God in prayer. And most of all to trust that God is always working, even when it seems like He is painting outside the lines. I challenge you to do the same.
Joanna works part-time in the church office and is responsible for Connection Ministry as well as church-wide communication and general office duties. Joanna is married to Bruce and they have 4 children.