A few weeks ago my mother forwarded me a blog posting and asked if I had read it. I hadn't. She said she thought I would enjoy it. The post was entitled "My husband is not my soul mate" and was written by a young woman who was celebrating her wedding anniversary. While the title may not seem to fit the occasion, I assure you, it did. If you get a chance to read the full blog, I highly suggest you do. It can be found here. But for this post I will be quoting one area in particular.
The author is speaking about how, as a teenager she believed that God had someone for her to marry; that he had a "plan" for her life, which included a husband. She cited Jeremiah 29:11 which states, "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." Her father quickly dashed her dreams.
"But then my theologian biblical scholar father shattered my dreams by informing me that God doesn’t have a husband for me, doesn’t have a plan for who I marry. NOT TRUE I scolded him, attacking him with the full force of Jeremiah 29:11 that God “knows the plans he has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future,” and obviously that means a hott Christian husband because God “delights in giving me the desires of my heart.” He slammed through my horrible (yet popular) biblical abuse by reminding me that the first verse applied to the people of Israel in regards to a specific time and just didn’t even dignify my horrible abuse of the second verse with a rebuttal. Nope, he said, a husband is not only not a biblical promise, it is also not a specific element of God’s “plan for my life.” God’s plan is for us to be made more holy, more like Christ… not marry a certain person. (This advice was also used when I asked what college God wanted me to go to, accompanied I think by, “God doesn’t want you to be an idiot, so go somewhere you will learn.” )"
I was awestruck and thrilled at the fact that someone (her father) FINALLY spoke out about biblical abuse. It's something that has been done for ages and probably always will be. Take the example above. I can't tell you how many sermons I've heard preached around Jeremiah 29:11; sermons that were guaranteeing that the scripture was directly FOR me, TO me and ABOUT me. However, it's not, it wasn't and it isn't. Many things in the Bible were written for a specific time, a specific place, and specific people. They were not intended to be bandwagons for everyone that followed to jump on, but rather were intimate promises made by a God to His people for that time and place. I could go further in depth about the topic, but that is not the point of this posting. Back to the topic at hand.
It has always struck me as odd how many things people equate to "God" in life. For example, if they get a flat tire on the way to work, God was looking out for them by foreseeing an accident in their path, and thus allowed them to get a flat tire so they would avoid catastrophe. In life there is something called cause and effect. It basically means, because this happened, this is the result. The reason said person got a flat tire is because said person ran over a nail; cause (nail) and effect (flat tire). This law of cause and effect is true in all facets of life and has been around since the beginning of time, along with other laws like the law of attraction ("you reap what you sow") and the law of gravity. Now, since God created these laws, in theory you could say that God caused the flat tire, but that's really reaching.
Since I lost my job, I've had several freak out moments; times when I've been very afraid of the future for myself and my little girl. I've had people tell me that this is part of God's plan and that God has a plan, but in reality, that's not true. Going back to the soul mate response, as stated by dear ole' dad, "God’s plan is for us to be made more holy, more like Christ…" God does not plan out our lives in full detail from the moment we're born until we leave this earth. Most would come against that statement with Jeremiah 1:5, but again, a specific word for a specific prophet (read it again). Instead what God gives us is....choices. He gives us free will and choices. What we do with those choices and how we work them into our spiritual lives is completely up to us, but it isn't preordained. It's on us; it's OUR responsibility and not the result of a "God, guide my life" prayer. He gave us a strong mind so that we are able to reason and think for ourselves and he expects us to use it. You can create a guideline for yourself so that you make sure every choice you make is aligned with the type of life you wish to lead, but you have to put in the effort.
For example, God does not have a plan for me when it comes to my career and its future. But with the mind that he gave me and the free will/choices that I have made previously, I now have a great resume with good experience and a great network of people who are on the hunt for me. I will get job offers and when that time comes, I will then sit down and weigh the options based on the things that I value and how I wish to live my life. There isn't going to be a "right" or "wrong" choice or path, just different ones. One job is not more "godly" than the other, they're just jobs.
In life many things will happen, good and bad, none of which are "God" things, they're just that...things. They're life; life happens. People get sick, people get well, people die, people live, people succeed and people fail. But what matters and what God does have planned for us, is to be Him to all those around us. So, when you get a flat tire and find yourself trying to throw God into it somehow, instead take the time to show His love to the wrecker who is towing your car. You never know, he might just be your soul mate. ;)