How Illness Reminds Us Daily, His Plans Are Not Our Plans

“‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.'” (Jeremiah 28:11)

Some may not believe this, but my father once owned a dog with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD. Lady, a lovable Australian shepherd, firmly believed everything had a place. In her mind, it had better stay there. With a steady supply of farm equipment in our yard, this was no easy task. If the car was parked in the driveway instead of under the carport, she would bark. If a feed sack fell off the back of the truck, she would bark. A bucket left in the yard would bring a barking alert.

The pleading in her eyes revealed the world would end if things were not put back in their original intended order. Lady never received treatment for her illness, but left us with funny memories of a dog that worried too much.

As this year’s upcoming graduates embark on a journey into adulthood, plans and dreams become forged into reality. Yet, even the best plans can be either changed or lost due to life’s situations and circumstances. Throughout the Bible, God brought interesting or heartbreaking twists into the lives of His children, each throwing man-made plans off course, forcing them to look to their Creator, the First and the Last, as their only hope for reassurance and restoration.

Just like our Bible heroes, our plans and expectations have been unfairly attacked, not due to our supposed guilt, but our supposed innocence. Illness has seemingly chosen us as a random target, erasing our hopes, dreams, and finances. The only one with any answers is God himself.

The reality is that our plans are not God’s plans. He has a greater cause, a greater mission, a greater hope than any of us can ever imagine.

Though it does not please Him when we suffer, our pain can place us where we need to be to draw strength and wisdom from Him. When we are weak, He is truly strong. We may be powerless, but He is powerful. We can rejoice in that, someday, somehow God will use our physical limitations as a glorious testimony of His tender grace and mercy.

Prayer: Thank you God that you can give me peace in the midst of chaos, and a future where there is no hope. Amen.

About the author:
Tracey Brown is grateful that God strengthened her faith through her experiences with kidney failure and dialysis. She celebrates the gift of life from an anonymous donor thirteen years ago.

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God’s plans for our life sometimes involve risk. How can we trust His plans versus our own?

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