The last few weeks have seen quite an amazing amount of activity happening in my life. Selling my car (which is still for sale), moving house, packing and unpacking, transitioning Dignity to new people in the UK etc. etc. It has been a busy period.
At the same time, nearly every personal plan that I had for living accommodation, schooling and the like in Zambia has fallen through the floor. We were due to rent a cottage on a farm, but this simply hasn’t happened and the cottage is now not available for rent.
Question: Does this mean that we are not following in God’s plan?
The typical answer in evangelical circles is that everything should work out easy if you are following the will of God. This follows on from an assumption that if you are in the right place, everything is comfortable and the like. Is some ways it is a subtle form of prosperity doctrine that has crept into the mainstream Church. So within this line of thinking Jude and I have somehow stepped outside of God’s plan.
I don’t believe in typical answers. I do believe in a God that shapes circumstance. The Lord has closed a door for us and whilst to begin with that was very uncomfortable (and still is…) I am learning to see that God allows/creates these things to happen to make Hos sovereign will known. So with this line of thinking, no Jude and I haven not stepped out of God’s plan. He is still in control and well he’s bigger than just our needs.
It’s always the place where we feel uncomfortable that we feel a sacrifice bites. Let me tell you something, and this is being honest, there are some days I emotionally hate my calling, it means a lot of adjustment and flexibility, neither of which I master. On my better days of course, I feel quite contented and directed within it. That concept of contentment I think is where the answer lies.
Paul, a great leader and apostle of the early church wrote this
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Listen to the freedom and flexibility in that statement. he can be content, happy in every situation. That is the true prosperity of the gospel, not the fact that everything will be easy. Jude and I face situations where we do have needs, and God says he will supply them. The secret though is to be content in whatever situation we find ourselves in.
Maybe if we all learned that one lesson we would be a great deal happier in this world.
God’s actions do not always lead to our perceived security or financial attainment. He does however say that He will provide and asks us to be content whatever the circumstance, whatever He asks us to do.