God has a plan for the future

This is not the subject I anted to write about today for my column in The Examiner. The sun is shining brightly, the flounder are running briskly after the little cold front, and Ted says we can go out in the boat. However, I’ve been a Christian for a good many years now, and I’ve learned (often, the hard way) that God puts things on hearts for reasons only known to Him. I honestly and sincerely believe this column is needed by someone who will be reading it in just a few days.

I am not happy about many choices I’ve made in the past or how I have decided to get to a goal, change a direction, or pursue a project. I, better than anyone in my life, know that I have failed, erred, was deterred, or made bad choices. I am a go-getter by my very nature. That often leads to rash decisions and fast entries into the unknown, but one thing I have learned and learned well is that God loves me and He cares what happens to me, and even when I “mess up” as it were, He still loves me and He still cares.

Enjoying reading Corrie ten Boom’s life story many years ago, I have found myself over the years returning to her writing for inspiration, advice and sometimes humor. She wrote, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Even when we cannot see around the corner or through the doorway, or when we’ve lost the energy to even look, God knows. He is there and He cares.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength,” this famous lady penned for us to read and believe. She’s right, you know. When we spend time worrying about our pasts, our choices, our cares, we cannot enjoy today. And just for the record, we do not need those who most often claim to love us to remind us of our failures and our fears. We know about them first hand. I’ve seen good Christian people who seem to delight in pointing out the failures of others and in reminding folks that they have not always done right. I have come to the conclusion that somehow these people believe it betters them in the eyes of the hearers for someone else to be more scarred or more scared.

One of my favorite quotes from this good lady is, “Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise, it hurts when God pries your fingers open.” Oh, my, how true this is. Travel lightly in this old world for we might not get to keep what we think is ours now and we may be leaving it all very soon. Living a life of faith, forgetting the past and moving forward is a worthy goal. The more we can honestly turn loose of, the better off we are in many cases.

Boom also said, “If you look at this world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you can learn to look at God, you’ll be at rest.” There are times in every Christian’s life when they must stop and remind themselves of this truth. Keep your eyes upon Jesus and carry on.

I’ve saved the best for last. Learning from this lady who lost it all, including her precious sister, Betsy, in a horrible concentration camp, she wrote, “This is what our pasts are for. Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”

So, today, if we’ve recently lost someone dear, if we are financially strapped, if our children have gone astray, if we are experiencing relationship or employment problems, or any other problem life throws at, let’s remember that God already knows about it. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him. God allows every experience we have to be a part of our lives, not only for our own well-being, but for the help and compassion for others along life’s way. “Some having compassion, make a difference” (Jude 22).