Through the highs and lows I hold fast, knowing that you hold my heart
What’s it like when what I planned isn’t what God’s planned?
I think I’m speaking for everyone when I say that having something you really wanted to happen not to go as you planned really sucks, and seems to be a normal part of life. But why?
Going right back to Exodus 3-14 we see Moses being sent to Egypt to free the Israelites from the captivity of Pharaoh. Most of us will know the story already: the burning bush; Aaron and Moses being sent to Egypt; Pharaoh refusing to let the Israelites go; many many plagues etc. It was crazy, right?! But one consistency throughout this wild journey was the fact that it was all for God’s glory!
Exodus 4:21 [NIV]
The Lord said to Moses, ‘When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go’
Straight off of the bat, God tells Moses that he’s going to harden Pharaoh’s heart so that the Lord’s people won’t be freed, and throughout this scripture God informs Moses that it’s for His glory! Surely that’s completely against the point, right? Well actually, not at all! The 10 plagues that the Lord sent were an awesome display of His mighty power, but that isn’t what I want to focus on today.
I want to ask you to imagine that you’re an enslaved Israelite, your whole upbringing being in captivity, and labouring for Pharaoh is all you know, then one day you hear about Moses and Aaron coming to Egypt. Immediately, I’d imagine, all the Israelites would’ve had new hope and would be full of excitement because the Lord had finally sent His people to set them free! Now imagine hearing that it wasn’t successful, not only once, not only twice, not only three times, but in fact 10 times?! And alongside this, you have to suffer through 3 plagues and then see Egyptians suffer another 7 on top of that, yet your freedom STILL hasn’t been granted. I can imagine they were all feeling pretty downhearted and hopeless. But why did God allow this?
I like to think that it’s to show that even in their greatest disappointments, God is still greater. That’s something I’ve grown to hold onto; God doesn’t stop working when my expectations fail me, in fact it’s often in those times that I learn to trust God most because it requires me to realise that my own plans and ideas will never compare to His. I’m not going to lie and say they’re easy times that look fruitful on face value, often it can be the complete opposite, but it grows faith and character in your heart and spirit which we know is what matters in the long run.
So take heart and know that even through seasons of being let down by people, disappointed by expectations, and hurt by changes, God is still good and God is still in control!