When God’s will doesn’t go your way

My husband spent 12 years at a job he liked but didn’t love. He was good at it—great, even. He got along well with his colleagues, built some fantastic experience, and provided us with the kind of sweet-deal health insurance that practically nobody in America gets anymore. We really had no reason to complain.

Except that he was bored.

For years we wondered when God would release my husband from this job and move him on to bigger and better things. I mean, couldn’t God see my husband’s potential? Wouldn’t He want to use it for his glory? In our eyes, God’s plan just wasn’t moving fast enough. It made no sense.

When my husband finally did make the break two years ago, it was to run his own company—sharing expertise he could only have gained in that 12-year wilderness we wanted so badly to leave. Looking back, God knew what He was doing all the while. We were the ones who expected a different outcome.

Do you ever feel like God’s plan isn’t quite what you ordered? You’ve been faithful, right? So why isn’t God rewarding you? Or worse—maybe you feel like He’s actually punishing you.

Whoa. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

And you want answers.

Read: When God doesn’t change your circumstances

These struggles aren’t limited to career stress, of course. Sometimes God’s plan includes health scares, infertility, prodigal kids, painful relationships, financial strain, loss of every kind—you name it. There are a thousand scenarios in which we’re shoved to our knees, asking God the big fat meaty questions, and the worst part is He seems to give no clarity in the middle of the mess.

Come on, God, really? Help me out here!

Ah. But Christian—don’t you know?

He already has.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6).

We know this verse. Some of us memorized it in preschool, for crying out loud, it’s Jesus Follower 101 and yet—do we really know it? Do we really believe it? Do we live like God meant it?

I sure don’t, not always. I have a thing for my “own understanding,” you know, I kind of like it. I cling to it. That’s what logical people do, we look for answers and map out our plans, and when things fall apart according to our “own understanding,” we get ruffled. We freak out. Maybe we even blame God.

Do you?

Here’s the thing. God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). His thoughts are so different from our thoughts. His logic puts the most intelligent mind to shame. We see one page at a time but He wrote the whole book. That’s why He’s sovereign and we’re not. And let’s all just praise heaven right now for that because if I ran the world? Man, I forgot to feed my children breakfast yesterday. There would be no hope for this planet if humans were really in charge.

Somehow, somehow, that job you hate, that marriage you’re fighting for, that child you pray over night after night—all of your struggles, whatever they may be, are divinely woven within God’s perfect plan, not just for your life but for the kingdom as a whole. And we get to be a part of His redemptive story here on earth, not just in spite of our struggles, but because of them.

So let’s do it together. When your own understanding makes no sense, ditch it. Instead, cling to the real truth: God already has this all figured out, and He loves you. I mean, He really loves you—more than you could ever know.

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