Overlook.JPGThere are two words to describe what you’re going through. It ___, yes it does. I‘d call it out right here but there’s enough ugliness to go around. No need to go piling on more.

But you’re my friend, and when you hurt I’m right there with you. Good friends are like family except we’ve got more say in the matter.  I watched and I prayed as you did the best you could with what you knew to do at the time. Didn’t a wise woman once say that if we’d have known better we’ve have done better?

But you didn’t so you couldn’t, and I hate to see you hurting over what could not be helped. One attribute our Creator chose not to share with us is omniscience. He is. We’re not.

You took that job in good faith only to find out the company didn’t keep faith with you.

That house that should have sold three times over and is still sitting there, wolfing down your savings like it’s on some kind of green paper diet?

And then there’s the guy you married who left you for someone whose name you only speak in prayer. The infidelity, the drained bank account, the lies? You loved him once and he loved you too, but then your marriage got KO’d by an adversary you never saw coming. How could you?

Here’s what hardest of all: it wasn’t supposed to work out this way. You’ve loved God since you were a kid and you memorized what he says about knowing the plans he has for you and that part about prospering you and not harming you. Giving you hope and a future.

So if you tried to do everything right and it turned out all wrong, it couldn’t be God’s fault, right? Must be yours. Maybe you missed a turn or didn’t read the directions right or something. If we’re traveling the road in the middle of his will things should go smoothly.

And yet.

I was thinking about a young couple the other day. You know their story too. She got pregnant; he stood by his commitment to marry her. The government ordered them to go home to register; it was hot and hard and a terribly long trip but they obeyed. At least they had God on their side. Maybe even a bit closer than that.

It wasn’t poor planning or a failure to call ahead (they were the ones who’d been called). But when they arrived, him dusty and exhausted and her nine-months prego and ready to pop, what’s up with this? Nowhere to stay and no one to take them in, and this in their ancestral home with kinfolk crawling all over the place, for cryin’ out loud.

Because maybe that’s what Mary did.  Just because she and Joe had done everything right didn’t mean things didn’t go wrong.

Or did it?

Having your first kid born in a cave with nowhere to lay him but a trough meant for feeding the cows was inconvenient and uncomfortable. Truth be told I’d have let it be known exactly what I thought of the situation.

But I suspect the young couple trusted the One who had led them there. Could be the place planned for them upon arrival was a different sort of destination all along.  Circumstances sure weren’t what they expected, but that didn’t mean they had wandered out of the will of their Father.

A wise man said it straight:

God’s primary will for your life is not the circumstances you inhabit; it’s the person you become.

Somehow that animal trough was meant to have a place in history.

Someway that young couple was learning to lean into the arms of the One who would sustain them through far tougher times.

Sometimes bad times come to us all, no matter how straight our gait or narrow our path.  You’re suffering over what’s been done to you, friend, or what hasn’t happened yet that would set your world to rights.

But it doesn’t mean you’ve strayed from His will. Could be you’re right there in His way, and He never takes his eyes off of you.

And I’m right there with you too.