So that's what you are planning!

Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always. (Romans 12:12)

How many times are we less than delighted with the plans we see being laid out before us? We might be a little 'okay' with them, but in the long run, they aren't what we really 'wanted', so we end up going along with them, but not whole-heartedly. God isn't always going to lay out plans we are going to jump with joy about. Some of the stuff he asks us to walk through will give us an opportunity to develop trust in his direction, while other stuff will be easy-peasy. It is the stuff we walk through that will eventually develop our character and a deeper trust in his ways that we struggle with the most.

Why? It requires us to be patient and that isn't always the easiest reaction to things that give us a little 'trouble' along the way. In fact, we want to either bypass the trouble, or get some kind of instant 'faith boost' to make it through without much effort. Unfortunately, those 'instant faith boosts' don't always come - sometimes we just need to walk through that hard stuff before we really begin to 'feel' or 'appreciate' that our faith has actually been increased. Prayerfulness in the midst of the trouble is always God's recommended plan. It is how we develop the patience to walk it out. 

I have sometimes begun my prayers in those times with complaint - telling God just how 'uncomfortable' I am in the midst of the trouble, how much I want 'out' of it, and what I believe HE should do in order for me to be relieved of it. Ever been there? In rather short order, I usually find God changing those complaints into more of a discussion - showing me where I need a bit of change, how much he is caring for me as I go through the challenge, and what steps to take next. In essence, he is helping me embrace the trouble with less complaint and more trust. How about you? Have you started out with complaint and ended with thankfulness, not really understanding how you got from 'crankiness' to 'joyfulness'?

It is only by God's hand that we walk through those troubles. We can be glad in the midst of troubles, but it may take some honest 'unloading' of our feelings and frustrations before God in prayer to get us to that point. Never be afraid to express yourself to him - he knows what is in your heart, but sometimes he just needs to hear us express it to him. In so doing, we open the door for him to bring peace in the midst of anxiety, hope in the midst of what seems to be unlikely, and freedom when it seems like we are being 'boxed in' by some force beyond our understanding. Just sayin!


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