Every so often I get the pleasure of being able to babysit for my nieces and nephew. They are 3 different children with 3 completely different personalities. My oldest niece, Rebecca, is a very responsible, straight A student. Almost an over-achiever. My other niece, Amanda, is the quintessential social butterfly who struggles with school and completing her assigned chores. She would much rather be song writing or singing. My nephew, Ryan, well...he is a boy through and through! He does well in school, but would rather be watching a football game or playing the Playstation.
Amanda has always been one to 'give up' on things if they appear to be too hard. I remember when she was very little and learning to tie her shoes. She would have a breakdown and start crying if she was unable to get the lace looped correctly. This beautiful red headed child would wrinkle her face into a twisted rage and cry while screaming "I CAN'T". I remember her mom being so patient with her and trying to explain to her that she CAN. Needless to say, most of the time, mom would end up tying the shoe for her:)
I was watching the kiddo's a couple of weeks ago when we had a 'sock incident'. Apparently, Rebecca could not find the socks that Amanda needed for her softball game the next day. I watched Amanda look for a few minutes, yell at Rebecca because she 'CAN'T' find them, and climb up to her bunk bed in a huff. Rebecca, the 'responsible' one, tore the family room apart searching for this pair of socks in desperation, so her sister would 'calm down'. Finally, after it was waaaay past their bedtime, I told Rebecca to call off the search. The sock was officially declared M.I.A.
As Rebecca got into bed, I went into their room to say goodnight. I noticed a very familiar look upon Amanda's face. This beautiful, red haired, young lady sat in a huff with the same contorted face she used to have when she would try to tie her shoes. I couldn't help, but smile a little. Now that she is old enough to reason with, I decided to talk with her about her feelings. Now, Amanda is not a talker. She has never been very good at communicating her feelings, so I really didn't expect to get much from her, but I thought I would try anyway. I attempted to soothe her first by telling her that it would be OK if she didn't have the socks for the first game and that I am sure her mom and dad would buy her some socks for next weeks game. Then I asked her "Amanda, why do you allow yourself to get so frustrated when things go wrong?". Her response absolutely floored me......."Because things aren't supposed to go wrong".
I have pondered Amanda's answer for the past couple of weeks. I have thought about my own frustrations and the frustrations of my children, friends, and family and really....it all boils down to 'things aren't supposed to go wrong'. Let's face it, we all make plans for our days, weeks, years, and lives. When those plans don't go according to what we think they should be, we believe things have gone 'wrong'.
God says, in 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."
Of course we get frustrated when thing 'go wrong' if those 'things' are according to our plans and not God's. When we rely and trust in God and seek His plan instead of our own, things don't 'go wrong'. They may not go how we thought they would or should go, but they don't go 'wrong'. God's way is not our way. God's way is higher than our way (Isaiah 55:9). God is the Creator and Sustainer of our universe. He is never 'wrong'.
Even knowing all of that, there will be a time in my (not so distant) future where I will be sitting in a ball, with my face contorted, upset because things aren't going 'right' (according to my plans). I know God will bring Amanda and her very honest answer to my mind. Then, He will whisper in my ear..."For I know the plans I have for you........."
Thank you God for loving me enough to make plans for me. Please give me the wisdom to wait on your plans....so things don't go 'wrong'. In Jesus' name I pray.......Amen!