Monday, August 28, 2017

Redirection: When God Changes Your Plans

Merriam Webster defines redirection as "to change the path or direction (of something)." Sound familiar? Let me see a show of hands of anyone who has experienced redirection in their life. Mine is waving, high and proud. I imagine yours is too.

Life is full of redirection. Sometimes they are good. Sometimes not so much. I look back on my life and see many times when things didn't work out the way I thought they would or should. Some were by my own making, others I had no control over. But almost always, on the other side of it, I see why the redirection had to happen. It wasn't always obvious right away. Sometimes it takes years to understand, and in some instances we may never know why life went in a completely different direction than we intended.

As a follower of God, I sincerely believe he has plans and purposes for our lives. I don't think he has every minute of every day planned out for us. We are not puppets in his hands. But Psalm 139:16 tells us that "all the days ordained for me were written in your book." God knows the day we'll be born and the day we'll die. He also knows everything in between and it matters to him. What we do with our lives matters.

So when redirection comes, especially the kind we have no control over, we have to trust that our Heavenly Father is up to something. I've experienced this and I know how scary it can feel. When my husband lost his job in 2008 after being with a company for over 23 years, we didn't know what the future held for us. We would have never imagined that four years later we'd accept a job that allowed us to live, work, and play on a 400-acre ranch in the hill country. Fast forward five years and we are once again facing redirection. Are we anxious? Kinda, but I'm praying that my trust will have no borders. God is up to something good! I just need to be patient and wait on the Lord.

In the Book of Acts, Paul and Timothy are going from town to town, region to region, preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. I'm sure they had plans and dreams and ideas of where to go and who to see. But in Acts 16:6-8 we see redirection:

"Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas." 

Redirection at its finest. What awaited Paul and Timothy in Bithynia? We don't know, but Jesus knew and redirected them. Has that ever happened to you? Don't go there, go here instead. Don't marry that person, marry this one. Don't take that job, take this one. Even diseases like cancer force redirection. Like Paul, we have a choice when we are redirected. We can choose to embrace it and trust God with our future, or we can fight against it, mourn what we feel we are losing, and even derail everything by ignoring it all together.

I am learning to trust redirection. It isn't always easy. It isn't always fun. I can be a bit stubborn sometimes, but God is a patient Father, thankfully. And I can say with complete confidence that no redirection ever hurt me. Yes, they tested me. Yes, they stretched me. But I have always, always come out on the other side better for it and even thankful for the new direction.

If you are experiencing redirection, hang in there! I am! God has great plans for you and me!



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