I had heard about the Saharan dust storm making the long journey from Africa and sweeping across our land here in Nebraska. Although I didn’t understand how dust could travel that far, I thought it was interesting that it would cause our sunsets and sunrises to be more vivid here, and I knew it was something I had to see for myself.
We live in a bit of a valley and are surrounded by huge, thick trees to the west. Unless we venture out, it’s impossible to see sunsets out our door, so I did a quick Google search to see when it would be best to see its effects near us and started to make plans on catching its full beauty.
I looked up ideal sunset times, put it on my calendar, and got my camera ready. My husband would drive me up the hills to get a great view, and when nine o’clock rolled around, we headed out. I had seen some social media postings from other nights by people in surrounding areas that were amazing, so I couldn’t wait to witness it myself!
We waited for the dust to do its thing, but all we could see was the haze it was causing and only pale blue skies. It wasn’t colorful at all — not a drop of the pinks, purples, and oranges I had been expecting. I thought maybe something could possibly change last minute, so we stayed on the hill with camera in hand. But we watched the sun fade and were left with no spectacular show, no vivid colors, no photos to catch the rare moment. Nothing.
Our plans failed and turned into disappointment — much like life for most people this year.
Things are not unfolding as we had planned. The high hopes we may have had going into 2020 have certainly not played out as we had expected. Things that were years in the making have been postponed or canceled altogether. Months of our “normal” lives, of regular routines have all been interrupted by a global pandemic. Who could have predicted or planned that a pandemic would sweep the world and instantly change so much in our daily lives?
The interruptions are frustrating and seem unfair. Life isn’t looking like we had planned in the little and big things. We’re uncertain of the future and don’t have answers. The plans we had changed, and it is uncomfortable, disappointing, and hard. But that isn’t the end of the story. There is still good news!
We can take comfort in knowing that God knows the future. He has the answers. He is not surprised by any of this. Our plans may have changed in unexpected ways, but God does not change.
That comfort we strive for, that peace we long for? There is a way — trust. We can choose to trust even when life isn’t going as we had planned. We can trust there is a bigger, greater plan than anything we could orchestrate or predict. Believing His plan for us is good.
We have to exchange our plans for His plans and remember that in all things there is a purpose.
When my best thought out plans aren’t going as planned, I think of Proverbs 16:9: “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” I can plan all I want, but He may have other plans for me. He determines the steps, so I need to live with an open heart and mind. I need to learn to be flexible and deal with disappointments even when I can’t see His purpose or His glory.
God has a plan for how this year is turning out to be, and we can trust Him with it.
With so many plans changed, have you seen some good in it yet?
Share in the comments below so we can all be encouraged!
We can take comfort in knowing that God knows the future. He has the answers. He is not surprised by any of this. -Jennifer Ueckert: Click To Tweet