Sunday, January 23, 2011

The worst day of my life

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. –Psalm 139:16 (NLT)
“What was the worst day of your life?” one of my students asked me one day last week.
I thought for a few moments. What was the worst day of my life? The day I received the phone call that my father was dying? I was a 20-year-old college senior taking 19 credits that semester. When my sister died suddenly at the age of 55? I’d planned to visit her after she recovered from cancer surgery, but a blood clot lodged in her lung and robbed me of the chance to even say goodbye. The day I called my brother, sobbing, and asked him if I could live with him? I was 45 and everything that meant anything to me was slipping away. I wanted to run away from it all and start a new life by myself far, far away.
But as bad as those times were, I didn’t feel any of them was the worst day of my life.
Then I remembered.
“The day my fiancé walked out on me,” I said.
I’d just graduated from college and gotten my first job.  He’d helped me move into my apartment. I don’t even remember what he said. But I can still see him driving away, taking my heart, my dreams—my very life—with him.
I looked at my students and smiled. “But what I thought was the worst day of my life actually turned out to be the best day of my life.”
“How so?” they asked.
“Because five months later, I met the real love of my life,” I said, “And I’ve been married to him for 37 years.”
Perhaps they saw it as a sweet, happily-ever-after love story. But it’s more. Much more.
It’s about a God who knew me before I was born, who had a plan and purpose for my life, which included a man He created just for me—not a perfect man, but perfect for me.
Perhaps you’re sorting through the fallout after what you believe was the worst day your life. You’re trying to put the pieces back together, but they’ve changed shape and no longer fit together the way they once did. Wait. Let God do His work His way in His time.  
“For I know the plans I have for you,” He tells us in His Word. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).
Dear God, sometimes circumstances force me in a direction I don’t want to go. Remind me that You are the one in control, and that what I think is the worst, in Your hands, may turn out to be the best. Amen.

Special-Tea: Psalm 139:1-18
For further thought:
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established. (Proverbs 19:21)
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me. (Psalm 138:8)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:21-23)


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