Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irony or Purpose?

Over the past several months my family has helped us make a backyard. Trees were torn down, several loads of dirt brought in, a retaining wall built, sod laid, and recently a white picket fence was put up.  I've been thinking about the irony of it all. We are living the "American Dream", well almost. We need another child (Married, 2 kids, a dog, white picket fence), right? My husband and I didn't feel called nor did we ever want to live in America long term. We wanted the complete opposite of a white picket fence. In fact we wanted to live about as far away and as opposite from America as you can get--India.

Yet, due to my pain, here we are.

It's hard to watch friends go overseas, fulfilling "our dream", while we wonder what in the world God is up to in our lives. Ironically some of our good friends felt called to go to Africa. We use to joke with them that they should come with us to India. The wife commented on how she didn't like Indian food and didn't think it was the place for her.  However, their plans to go to Africa didn't work out and guess where God has called them to go? Yep...India.

My husband has been in seminary for the last 3+ years in hopes we would one day go back overseas. He had enough hours to complete a shorter degree in December, but decided to keep taking classes to get a higher degree since my pain continues to progress. He was notified this week that he is no longer eligible for the scholarship he has been receiving for his prior missionary service in Africa. A scholarship that pays half his tuition. Upon asking our pastor for his advice, our pastor said he thought my husband should do whatever would be most beneficial for where my husband saw himself in the next five years. Unfortunately as it stands it's very possible that we could be right were we are in five years: me in pain and my husband working a secular job in order to provide, instead of being in ministry. (Of course we know God can do more than we think or can even imagine, Ephesians 3:20).

Is God just being mean, giving us and our friends exactly what we didn't want? While it may feel that way sometimes, we must ask, "do our feelings equate truth"? And even looking at it from a philosophical way of thinking of course the answer is, "no". Definitely from a Biblical perspective we see over and over again that God is working out His will for His children's lives.
"I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted" Job 42:2 
"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me." Psalm 138:8
"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
We can rest assured that while our plans, and hopes, and dreams have changed, God's purposes have not. God is most concerned about advancing His Kingdom and He will do whatever will spread His glory and the gospel of Jesus Christ the most.  To the human mind it seems to make  more sense that God would heal me so we can go overseas and share the hope of salvation to those who have never heard. It seems that would advance God's Kingdom the most, not me lying around in pain unable to hardly do anything.  But once again God's ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). It may hurt, as it surely does us right now, and it may not make sense to our human minds, but be assured that God is at work even in the "ironies" of life.


  1. Here's another one that has been echoing in my mind recently - "For my thoughts are higher than your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" declares the Lord, "As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways highere than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts" Isaiah 55 v8,9

    And my favourite since I was a teenager - "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 a hope and a future" Jeremiah 29 v11 - Of course I never would have thought then that would mean getting sick and having to move home or be dependent on my parents at this age. I was planning on being married and having kids by now! But now I understand this verse to mean that through all these struggles God won't harm me and my hope and future are in heaven.

    I know how difficult it is when your plans and hopes are destroyed and how hard it can be to understand when God seems to be doing the opposite of what makes sense. I don't know what Gods plans for you are but I know that for now he is still using you through this blog. I have been really encouraged and sometimes challenged by your writing & sharing your life. Thank You!

  2. Thank you for your kind words and encourgement Miriam. May God give you grace and joy as you daily trust Him in this difficult life.