When Plans Don't Go As Planned
- Thursday, June 11, 2009
My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart (Job 17:11).
Even though Job shared these discouraging words to us in the midst of his heartbreak over 3,000 years ago, I don’t believe they were limited to his time. I would guess similar thoughts are reflected upon every day in the hearts and minds of people all around us, notably singles.
It is sort of an Eeyore (the loveable donkey known for his gloomy and depressive nature in Winnie the Pooh stories) type of mentality—you have great friends, freedom to roam, exciting adventures, yet have bouts of despondency and an outlook that plans will fail.
At times, when I have these thoughts, I sometimes wonder if my plans and desires were not of God, if he has a different direction for my life, if I messed up somewhere along the way and if there is a chance things will ever get better.
Feelings like these expressed by Job and experienced by some of us, are rooted from being dissatisfied. Dissatisfied with ourselves, dissatisfied with others, dissatisfied with our relational status or relationships, dissatisfied with our situation or career, dissatisfied with what we have or don’t have, or dissatisfied with our inability to control any of this.
Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man (Proverbs 27:20).
The source of this dissatisfaction can be traced back to the beginning of man, and the author of deception.
‘Really?’ he (the serpent) asked the woman. ‘Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?’ ‘Of course we may eat it,’ the woman told him. ‘It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die.’ ‘You won’t die!’ the serpent hissed’ (Genesis 3:1-4).
The enemy operates with a salesman-style personality—trying to convince us we are discontent with all of the things we are blessed with and to focus on the things we don’t have.
His desire is to keep us wanting more, and that “more” is of the world, not of God. If Satan can discourage us to be dissatisfied with ourselves, our situation or anything in this world, he accomplishes his task.
My days have [not] passed
How I wish that I might have what I ask for and that God would give me what I hope for (Job 6:8).
We live in a world prescribed by arbitrary milestones and measurements.
- Marry your soul mate out of college.
- Own a home.
- Have children in your twenties and thirties.
- Work in a profession that is monetarily rewarding.
- Retire wealthy and enjoy your grandchildren in your fifties.
- Live happily ever after well into your seventies.
Success and (supposed) happiness in the world’s eyes are roughly based upon reaching these aspirations.
Therefore, if we assess our life according to these guidelines, our days have passed. If we believe that being “normal” is lining up with the world’s view of where we “should” be, we will never be content. If we determine our happiness is based upon receiving what we ask for on our timeline, we will never experience true happiness.
Furthermore, if we strive to live by and desire what the world dictates, we will probably miss out on the amazing, unfathomable and (humanly) unpredictable things of God.
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