Monday, November 5, 2012

FAVORITE VERSES SERIES: Ascribing False Intentions

"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." ~ Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

Have you ever had one of those times where you threw your hands up in the air thinking, "What have I done to deserve this?"  As the parent of a child with special needs, I would dare to say you have.  It is not uncommon for parents like us to wonder if we have provoked God in some way to bring harm upon our children.  We struggle as we try to make sense of the suffering our children endure.

"How can a loving God allow this?", our hurting hearts question.  Fewer things are more difficult in life than watching a child endure physical, cognitive or emotional challenges, especially one we love dearly.  That pain in our hearts can even morph into anger as we suddenly view God with bitterness, ascribing false intentions to Him.  We accuse him of intentional harm, not caring or even playing an evil cosmic game with our lives.

Yet, if we really take time to get to know Him, we learn that these reactive emotions do not truly reflect who God is at all.  Early in my special needs parenting journey, I was blessed with much comfort from our memory verse this week.  What a relief to learn that God has only good things in mind for me.  Just the mere fact that the Lord would state the words in this passage tells me that He understands that we might have doubts or fear that He intends us harm.  What compassion He offers us by reassuring that His intentions are only to bless us.  The fact that our Father has plans for us at all means that we have immense purpose.  And because He plans to prosper us as well as give us hope and a future, we can be sure that any suffering we bear is only in preparation for what is to come.  

Like an athlete who goes through the pain of intense training to win a prize, so too our suffering will hold infinite reward in the end, if we cooperate with it.  In the words of Nathaniel William Taylor, "In order to receive any benefit from our captivity, we must accept the situation and be determined to make the best of it.  Worrying over what we have lost or what has been taken from us will not make things better but will only prevent us from improving what remains.  We will only serve to make the rope around us tighter if we rebel against it...  No calamity will ever bring only evil to us, if we will immediately take it in fervent prayer to God."*

Friend, know that God is the ultimate recycler.  He can and will use our hurts in life for our good, and to bring about His perfect, glorifying plan.  Write Jeremiah 29:11 on your heart today, and be encouraged.

PRAY:  Lord, thank You that You have good intentions for me to bring me blessings.  My future and the future of my child hold immense promise because of You.

*Taken from Streams In The Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings by LB Cowman, Edited by Jim Reimann, Copyright 1997by Zondervan.

No comments:

Post a Comment