Friday, September 28, 2018

Not His Plan

“We make lots of plans but God’s purpose prevails." ~ Proverbs 19:21
We all have a story.  The one God wrote for Alejandro took several unexpected turns.
Despite an education from a major university, he graduated in the midst of one of the country’s worst recession.  No one was hiring.
A friend got him a job at a group home for cognitively disabled adults.  That was certainly NOT part of his career plan.  It was hard work and emotionally draining.
Alejandro was responsible for helping the residents develop life skills until they were ready to live independently.  The most challenging part of the job was helping them learn to control their behaviors when they acted out – a liability he dreaded and seemed ill-prepared to assume.
Jacob, one of the residents in particular, would become violent at times when frustrated.  He did enjoy hiking outside, so Alejandro often walked with him to calm him down.
One day when they were out walking Alejandro suddenly felt something touch his fingers.  Jacob was trying to hold his hand.  Instead of pushing it away Alejandro grabbed his hand and they strolled together in the sunshine.
As they headed home Alejandro felt the warmth in Jacob’s eyes.  They beamed with love, with joy, with goodness.
He closed his own eyes and savored the moment.  He let the happiness soak into his bones, never releasing Jacob’s grip.
It caught him off guard.  In that instant, Alejandro saw past Jacob’s troubling behaviors and his impairment.  He saw who Jacob really was.
For the first time in forever his body and mind relaxed - no expectations on him, no deadlines and no schedules to meet.  This wasn’t his plan … but he liked where it was headed.
Little did Alejandro know that God would use that experience to help prepare him for his own two son’s Autism.  Although his boys often found it difficult to fit in, it helped their Dad see the light that shone within them as well.  Learning to accept, nurture and celebrate their differences was a critical step to encourage them as the men God created them to be.
It helped him realize that caring for them was not a duty but an honor; that every child of God is precious and holy.  They became his best tutors about how to live and how to love.  And when it came to plans, God may have steered his somewhere else, but He always had something bigger and better in mind.
No matter where you are on your faith journey, there’s a plan and a purpose to what you experience.  If you’re struggling, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.  Be encouraged by reading about others’ experiences who have seen the transforming work of Jesus in their lives.
Heavenly Father, You know me better than I know myself.  I know you have a plan for me, so please don't let my desires blind me to Your will.  Give me peace about whatever is to come, trusting completely in Your hand.  Amen