By Scott Tibbs, May 9, 2013
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. -- Proverbs 3:5-6
Fifteen years ago today, I graduated from Indiana University. This coming August, it will be twenty years since I moved to Bloomington to begin my college career. (I took an extra semester to graduate, and lost an entire semester when I had to drop out to deal with having cancer.) My life today is not what I had imagined it would be in 1993 or 1998. Instead, it is far better than I expected. God's plan for my life was far better than mine.
Four years ago, when I was contemplating the ten year anniversary of moving back to Bloomington as a "townie" instead of as a student, I was floored when I saw how God's plan for my life had unfolded. It amazed me how one thing had led directly to another to put me in a wonderful position. Even a particularly disappointing hardship I experienced was necessary for God to open a different door in order to put me in a better place.
The path that I have traveled is not something I could have possibly planned myself. The only explanation is that my Father was guiding my life. Through the last fifteen years (and indeed the last twenty years) I have seen how God's loving discipline in my life has been necessary for me in so many ways. I look back at God shattering my pride and arrogance, especially when I was doing something I swore I would never do again - because I was "too good" for that. I could almost feel Jesus standing at my side saying "You're not too good for that after all, are you?"
Trust God. When things happen that you do not think you can handle, and when life takes a turn that you do not expect and did not plan, trust Him. Our Father loves us and His sovereign will is perfect.
I cannot (and will not) say that everything will work out for the best from a human standpoint. We are not better than our Master, who was brutally tortured to death by the Roman authorities after being handed over by His own people. We are not better than the Apostles, who suffered brutal deaths for their faith in Jesus Christ. We are not better than the countless Christians who have suffered for their faith over the last two thousand years.
We may lose our children, our health, or our homes, and we may suffer in many other ways. If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is this - the blessings I have in my life (including the incredible blessing of being a father) are not things that I have earned and are certainly not things I deserve. Even my own earthly "accomplishments" are a gift from God because He is the one who gave me the talent to do those things. Whether we are comfortable or suffering, God loves us, God is faithful, and we should always trust Him.