So you thought you heard God. Clearly. You thought the steps you took were the right ones. You tried to be faithful to what you believed He’d said. But now you look at where you are and wonder if you missed God completely.
This isn’t how it was supposed to turn out. Maybe you heard wrong in the beginning. Should you retrace your steps and see what went wrong? Probably not.
A while back I wrote a piece called Keep Moving Forward. I talked about not looking back at mistakes or when times looked better than they seem now. While facing up to your mistakes and being willing to make changes is a good thing, sometimes the outcome is out of your hands no matter what you do.
When things don’t turn out as you’d hoped, you have to make a decision. You can’t change other people and you can’t change things that have already happened. But you can learn from your experiences and move on. You can change yourself.
In my life, I’ve had to come to terms with more than one situation that I thought was a sure thing. Each time I knew it would be difficult but I was sure that God’s power and grace would help it turn out well. In some cases it didn’t turn out well at all. In fact, it went horribly wrong and looked like it might not even be salvageable. So what do we do in those situations? We need to keep moving forward, not wish for a do over, not wish away all the problems we are facing.
To move forward we need to do a couple of things. We need to remember that God is still able to work in ANY situation. God never wastes any of our experiences. He uses each one to help us grow into who He planned us to become. If I look at how God wants to change me instead of how bad things seem, I remain pliable in God’s hands.
Second, we need to reevaluate what’s important. Sometimes the thing I wanted to work so badly wasn’t the end result God had in mind in the first place. What’s important is that He ultimately gets the glory. Sometimes that means walking away from things we thought were really important, choosing instead to let God set the priorities. There is only one priority, really. The Lord and His perfect plan.
So, today I am reminded that when things get tough and aren’t going the way I would like, I need to surrender my will to God’s will. He knows the best ending to every story. I want to allow Him to write mine.
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” – Romans 11:36