“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope.” - Jeremiah 29:11
The sport of my choice in High School was wrestling. I loved the sport. I enjoyed the grind of practice, the intensity of game day and the celebration after a hard fought win. My senior year, I had just come off a grueling ACL injury, but I had done all the physical training and I was cleared to start wrestling again. Everything was going well. I was named captain of the team, I was winning matches, and the beginning of the season was going better than I had expected.
During practices, it was part of the usual schedule that we would wrestle off with teammates near our weight class. I began to wrestle my teammate and sparring partner who was much taller than I was. He went for my legs and I heard a pop and immediately felt pain in the same knee I tore 10 months prior.
I had done it again, I tore my ACL. My season was over. The next week I was in surgery, and my life had fallen back into crutches and asking my mom to help me out of bed just to go to the bathroom. I felt like everything I worked for, all my dreams of having a winning season were taken away from me.
I was mad at God because I felt like he did this to me. What I didn’t see at the time was that God was taking back control over my life.
Giving control over to God is a nice sentiment but it is harder to do in practice. It is in our nature to want to have control over our lives. We look ahead, plan our future, and set goals based on our desires and wants. We are taught in school, through media, and the shows we watch that the only person looking out for us is ourselves, but what if there is a God that has an even greater plan for our life than we could ever imagine?
Trust is the key. It is part of the very foundation of our faith. Simply put Do I trust myself or Christ more with my life?
We can ask some basic questions to see where our heart truly lies in this.
If I don’t get into the school I want, is Christ still enough?
If I don’t get that promotion at my job, Do I believe Christ has something better for me?
If my “friends” begin to exclude me, Have I put my worth in them or in Christ?
Don’t get me wrong it is so important to have a plan and set goals for ourselves. It keeps us motivated and on track to become the people God made us be. Yet, If we put all our value, all our worth; if we bet our whole life on what WE want, we risk losing sight of the amazing life God MADE for us.
So while we plan our lives one, five, maybe even ten years in the future, remember God has made us for a life that is eternal with him in Heaven. We plan our lives for our time on Earth, but God plans our lives for our time with Him.
So when things don’t go the way they should, the question should not be “what did I do wrong?” The question should be, “How is God using this moment to redirect me to Heaven?”
On the cross, Christ died for the sake of our sins so that we might believe in Him and receive the gift of Heaven. When we allow Christ to have control of our lives, we are saying YES to the promise of Heaven.
During that time when I was on crutches and not wrestling, I was able to finally make a decision on which college to go to. My dreams of getting any sort of wrestling scholarship were out, so Missouri State seemed like the best option for me. I ended up meeting a man named Blake there, who sat me down and shared the story of Jesus with me. A month after I met with Blake, I surrendered control of my life to Christ. A Torn ACL led me to Missouri State, which led me to Blake, who led me to Christ. Praise to the God who chooses us, even when we don’t choose him.
Challenges for this week:
When things don’t go your way instead of getting upset or frustrated, pray that God reveals his plan for your life.
Memorize Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope.”
I know that memorizing Scripture is hard and not something we want to add to our busy schedules. But memorizing Scripture allows God to write his WORD on our hearts. When we put Scripture into memory, God allows it to work in our daily lives. 2 Timothy 3:16-17