We’re always told that God has a plan for us and that we should trust in His timing. Although this is a true statement, it’s easier said than done. As humans, when we don’t understand what God is doing we can all struggle sometimes to believe that he is really there. Even though I have struggled with that before, I want to tell you why I know that He is. And I will illustrate it with a recent example from my own life.
At the beginning of the year, I started dating this wonderful girl. One day the relationship came to an unexpected halt without much explanation. When this happened, I was confused and despondent. I didn’t know what to think or say, so I just went outside and took a long walk. I walked by a Catholic Church that had an adoration chapel. I thought about going in to pray for a few minutes but I was really not in a state of mind to stop and concentrate on prayer, I just didn’t feel like it. As I kept walking I looked back at the church and kind of felt this tug at my heart to go in, like it was something I needed to do, even though I didn’t want to. As soon as I walked in I saw a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a long time praying in the chapel. She saw me and smiled with a surprised look on her face. After praying for a little bit, I went outside and talked with her about what had just happened. She spent time talking with me and even brought me to dinner with her family, just what I needed that day. In the adoration chapel, she had literally just finished praying for me as I walked in the door. Some may call that a coincidence, I call it providence.
I hadn’t seen this friend in almost a year, I was on a walk without a destination, and I didn’t want to go in that adoration Chapel. I just felt a tugging at my heart that I should. God provided exactly what I needed that day and led me right to it.
Just a few weeks after the break-up, I went through several unexpected and difficult life events. For a while I was in a bad place mentally and emotionally. Had we still been together those events would have been tough on the fairly new relationship. She also had things going on in her own life and needed space. I believe the timing of all of it was by God’s design and may have even protected us from a worse break-up.
What is God’s plan?
If you are reading this and you are confused about what God is doing with your life, or struggling to believe that he’s really there with you, I understand, but I can promise you that He is. I urge you, run after Jesus with all your heart whether you feel Him there or not.
We are walking a path with a lot of steps but we can only see the next step or two. Jesus is walking right next to us. Logically, if you can’t see the next step, you don’t know if you’re going to trip or stumble, but somebody right next to you, who loves you, can clearly see, so why wouldn’t you trust him?
He loves us so much that He died on a cross for us. He can see the entire path and whether we feel it or not, He’s constantly reaching out His arms to hold us, carry us and guide us. Why on Earth don’t we trust him? There’s something important we need to remember when we don’t feel like He’s right there with us:
“Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
Those are the words of Jesus Himself. Look how He takes care of the birds in the sky, providing for everything they could possibly need. If He does that for birds, imagine what he will do for the crowning achievement of his creation. You know, those beings He made in His own image and likeness, gave free will, and even died for!
In the example I gave, I went to Jesus (physically) in that church and He gave me exactly what I needed. Jesus invites us to come to Him, not only physically and mentally, but in the deepest place in our hearts. Whether you’re having an easy time or a struggle in your life right now, sift out the distractions and make your relationship with Him your primary focus.
“But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33)
What does God have planned for me in the future? What is he doing in my life that I don’t understand right now? I don’t know. What I do know is that He loves me, and I trust Him.
Sean Gillen is a college student involved in Pro-Life and youth ministry at his parish. He has been active in the pro-life movement since high school and is currently finishing up a criminal justice degree for a career in law enforcement.