"I didn't climb the corporate ladder as quickly as I wanted." "I am not able to have children." "My family isn't as close as I wanted them to be." "My job isn't as prestigious as my friend's." "My car isn't the latest model."
How many times have we said or thought something similar to those statements? I find that it is often too easy to focus on the negative. I look around at what others have, compare my life to theirs, and then get discouraged because I don't have what I think I should have in my life. My life didn't turn out the way I had planned.
Jeremiah 29:11 – "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." (NIV)
When I get discouraged, I start writing a list of all the things that I do have in my life. It is a very simple idea, but it helps me to realize all the blessings in my life. I think about what I want and don't have and am reminded that perhaps, in God's perfect plan for my life, those things may not be helpful or useful for me right now in serving God and carrying out His will. That is not always easy for me to accept. It is also a great reminder for me that I need to trust that God will provide all that I need when I need it. His timing is perfect, and His plans for us are far better than anything we can begin to plan for ourselves.
Prayer: Loving God, help us not to become so easily discouraged when our plans don't work out the way we think they should. Your plans and timing are perfect. May we always be thankful, even when it is difficult. Amen.