God’s Timing and Plan for Our Lives

Published May 26, 2021, Joy In Truth

God’s timing and His plan for our lives can present us with a real challenge to our faith and trust in Him. To allow His plan to unfold in His time goes against our very human desire to take control.

By Jean Mondoro

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

This has been one of my favorite Bible verses for a long time, but it was only recently that I was struck by a new reflection. It’s one thing to be able to surrender to God’s plan for our lives, but the other half of that is to trust that His plan will unfold in His time, not ours.

When I am stuck in a difficult situation, I want to do something about it. I can’t stand to just sit around and wait if there is something I can be doing to make it better. This is a common reaction, I think, among us as human beings. It’s hard to be patient. And it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that there is nothing to do about it. But this is an idea put into our heads by the devil because he knows very well that there is always one thing to do: pray.

Prayer is an Act of Trust

Now I know that may sound cliche, but it’s true. In any situation, you can always pray. You may not be able to do anything else, but prayer is an act of entrusting your difficulty to God and allowing Him to act in His time. However, there is usually something else for you to be doing in addition to prayer. Even if you can’t do anything about a particular struggle or situation, God always give us opportunities to serve others and improve in our own life of virtue.

A good habit to get into, and one that I am trying to build myself, is to look for every single opportunity to show God’s love to another person. This can be as simple as greeting everyone you meet with a word or a smile, helping out a little more around the house, thanking a teacher, or playing with a sibling. You could also find some charities to which you could donate your time or resources. There are always ways to serve God and love our neighbors, which is what we are called to do every single day of our lives. It’s a wonder we ever feel like we have nothing to do!

Trials Can Bring Growth in Virtue

Another valuable use of time is to look for ways to improve your own interior spiritual life. In what virtues can you be growing during your trials? In relation to God’s timing, I would say that the need for patience is pretty common, as well as perseverance and joy in suffering. Think of how your virtues are being challenged and then focus on strengthening those specific areas.

There is no debate that it’s incredibly difficult to wait for God’s plans to play out in His time. But instead of letting this struggle be a source of discouragement, we can look at it as an opportunity to grow closer to Christ. Even Jesus waited for His Father’s will to take place in His time. He can help us be patient and at peace with each moment as it comes to us.

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