My guest today is my very dear friend Elaine Stock who I met four years ago at the 2009 ACFW conference. She is a soon-to-be-published author of Christian Women's Fiction with strong social messages.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
I have an old Hagar The Horrible comic hanging up in my kitchen. Hagar stares up at the sky and shouts “Why me?” A clap of lightening barrels down from the heavens, accompanied by a booming voice saying “Why Not?” I can so relate to this perplexed Viking. Can you?
We all want a nice life. Who doesn’t want a new car, a large house, a comfortable-salaried job/career, and for those living in cold areas, even a taste of summer in the cold days of winter? In short, we want the key to Easy Street.
Life is often rough. Perhaps that’s why, in preparation of this piece, I referred to one of my favorite Bible quotes, from Jeremiah. But what happened God? Did you stop noticing the route my life took many years ago? My mother grew increasingly mentally ill until her wayward thoughts fueled her feet and she fled the home scene. Did you not notice, God? My small family fell apart through the years by the hands of estrangement and death. Did you not notice, God? My marriage hit a few icebergs in the first few handfuls of years. Did you not notice, God? Childless, will I have someone to watch over me during my elderly years, God? Have you noticed?
Oh, yes. God has noticed. I’m convinced of that, especially because of where I came from in those darker days. I embraced Christ in my early 20s and since that day when I accepted Him into my heart I see daily signs that my life is in His hands. I’m not walking on Easy Street. I still have my humanly wants and daydreams. I still flinch when hitting life’s speed bumps. But, it is easier now that I know God is holding my hand. He has already been preparing for me a life that He alone has intended for me to live because life is not an existence of time when only randomness and coincidences occur. Life is living in the spot where God wants me to live. He has me interacting and influencing others. And He has others who will influence me. Life is about blessing others and receiving a blessing from them. Life is not about Easy Street or envying others who temporarily live on this pretend street. Know what I’ve been learning lately? That many of these residents on Easy Street suffer many agonies: an ill and dying child; bankruptcy; sudden unemployment; divorce; cancer; the unexpected crippling accident.
Bad happens. Good happens. And sometimes, the wonderful happens.
I know God loves me. He knows the plans He has for me even before I was born and He will carry them through for my welfare. Why? Because my God does not plot misery. He blesses with hope. And a future.
What street are you living on these days?