Pain in His Plans

I love when Social Media gives you the memories of things you had posted in the past. Sometimes the post you made 2 – 3 years, or more, before hit so much differently, and more deeply than when you originally wrote them.

I came across one that I had made where I quoted the book Manna for Moms by Megan Breedlove. Here is the quote:

“Can it really be better to do something painful that God asks of us than to relieve our pain by making our own plans? Yes. And I guarantee that if God is asking us to do something, it is definitely better to obey than to go our own way. Too often, we define “better ” as “the absence of pain.” But we’re not always right. Sometimes there has to be pain before we can get to the good on the other side. If we get out of the situation now, we might avoid some of the pain. But we’ll never reach the better country we would have dwelt in had we traveled God’s way. Let’s not let our fear of what’s ahead cause us to say no to participating in God’s plan.

This was another one of those things that God had given me years in advance to try to prepare me for the road He had for me. When I re-read this quote, it hit me on so many levels.

I didn’t get a choice in what God is asking of me in this season, and I will never fully see the impact of my pain in His plan, but I know that walking with Him through this is the best way.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1

I could run from my pain to many different outlets. I could eat my feelings, or drink them away. I could run to the first man who shows me attention, or sleep them away in a depression. But what good would that do? None! Only by walking through what God has planned for me will I be able to fully appreciate what God is doing through me.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

As I have said many times before, I don’t know why. Why did He have to take my husband when he did? Why me? Why did He choose me to carry out this plan? Who is He impacting through my story? What was the purpose to my pain? Is this plan really the better one?

“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.” Jeremiah 29:11

How do we not run from the situation that God has put us in, avoiding the pain? I believe the answer to that is perspective. Where is your focus during this time? Is it on the storm God has you in? Or on the One who controls the storm?

I had a friend ask me about how I’m doing recently. He asked if I have been able to find any contentment in my situation. I told him that I don’t think ‘content’ is the right word to use. I think ‘acceptance’ is a better word to use. I have accepted the fact that my husband died, and I have had to move forward with life without him.

I also told him that sometimes there is a fine line between “content” and “contempt“. The difference in the two is what mindset I use. If I use the mindset of “why me?” and “woe is me”, then I will get angry and despise the situation I am in. But if I use the mindset of “what is God doing through this?”, then I can have peace in the situation, and find happiness.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.1 Timothy 6:6-8

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Phillippians 4:11-12

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.Colossians 1:24

So my question to you is… your attitude one of contempt? Or content? Choose Joy!

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