Timehop is a fun app for iPhone that lets you look back and be reminded of things you posted about. Sometimes it’s interesting to see what journeys you’ve gone through. The last couple of weeks have been full of things (from 7 years ago) about hospitals, operations and cancer. Not the most awesome memories.
7 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Today’s Timehop was a reminder of when we went back to find out that they had gotten all the cancer and no more treatment was necessary, basically the end of the journey.
I remember all of the things leading up to that though were scary. People said things like, trust God…even the above verse, “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
The problem was I knew. I knew from experience that no matter how much you trusted, bad stuff still happens. I knew if all the plans were God’s, some of them were ones I didn’t like very much. I knew I had already lost one parent to death at 5, and I wasn’t trying to lose another one by 35.
While I was a Christian, I didn’t have a deep relationship with God, and I didn’t know how to fully trust that whatever happened was for my good. My definition of good would have been growing up with two parents, not the struggles we knew. I wasn’t mad this time, though. I was just scared.
This verse says a lot though, I think, even when I struggle to live it in reality.
“For I know the plans I have for you”. It doesn’t say, for I know them, and I’m gonna tell them all to you. It just says he knows. When we were growing up, there were things our mom knew but didn’t tell us because we probably wouldn’t be able to process all the things. But we knew, even when we didn’t like the outcomes, things were for our good and because she loved us. She didn’t just do things to be mean (even if we thought that sometimes at the time.) It’s the same with God. He knows the road, and faith is going to help get us down it, even when we have no idea where we are going.
“For I know the plans for you, declares the Lord”. Declare means to say something in a solemn or emphatic manner. He’s not just saying, oh hey ps I know what’s going on. He’s declaring it, emphatically and in all seriousness. He’s saying, hey calm down, I’ve got you.
“Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” What kind of person would I be if I grew up with two parents? I don’t know. Idealistically I think I would be a great person because my parents were both good people, but since that’s not the life I lead, we’ll never know. Do I know what the good in that situation is? Nope. But I have to fully trust that God didn’t allow my dad to be taken away because he wanted to harm me. He said “all things work together for good”. So, while I can’t see the good, I have to trust it’s still there.
I don’t know why my mom had cancer. I’m just glad she doesn’t anymore. I don’t know why my dad died. I don’t know…well, why anything bad happens. All I can cling to is that it all is God’s plan. And if I trust in a loving Father, I have to believe there’s a reason and it’s for my good. Even when it’s hard.
Even in the little inconveniences and the times (like now) where I want something different and it’s not happening, I have to believe that there’s a plan and the Maker of the plan has my best interest at heart.