There have been many times when things in my life did not go the way I had planned.
Maybe you can say the same for your life.
And if you are anything like me, you became frustrated when that happened.
I might be able to say that more times than not, things have not gone according to my plans. If I were an investment manager, I’d probably be better off just letting the money go on auto-pilot.
My career did not go the way I had planned.
Starting a family did not go the way I planned.
And now that I have a kid, very few things go the way I plan.
I am convinced that as a species, we experience a lot of frustration. I think frustration is an emotion unique to humans. And the deepest sources of our frustration comes from our desire to control and to plan. We decide that things should go this way, at this time, according to these plans. We desire to control our destinies. We desire to control our surroundings. We desire to control other people. And few of those things ever work. Whether you are a pastor or a parent, you have probably discovered that you cannot control other people. Yes, it’s maddening.
But I have also become convinced that I have discovered the antidote for my need to control:
I have come to believe that all things truly do work for good.
I can look back on five frustrating years in my marriage and see how they worked for good. I can see how the low points in my life came full circle and bore fruit.
Now working for “good,” doesn’t mean that our plans come true. Working for “good” doesn’t mean it will always be pleasant. It doesn’t mean that things will work for good next week or next year. Sometimes, it takes longer than our short little lives for things to work for good.
But it means that, if we are willing, we will see the threads of grace in our lives, especially when our precious little plans are frustrated.
The universe has not made us any promises. But God has promised that He works all things for good in the end.