Christian Life

When The Outcome Is Not What You Expected

What do you do when you want something in life, whether it’s a job, house, relationship, a pregnancy, etc…, and doesn’t happen the way you thought it was going to?  I’m talking about the thing you have been desperately praying for, and you know in your heart that it’s the right thing for you, but in the end it’s a big fat NO.  People call it the carrot dangling in front of the rabbit or pulling the rug from under your feet.  It’s during these times we end up feeling let down, hurt, betrayed and confused.  Many times we end up questioning and blaming God for allowing or not allowing this specific thing to happen.

I remember several years ago when my husband and I were in transition and seeking God for direction.  We had resigned from a church that we had committed our lives to, sold a
house that we loved and found ourselves cramped in a little apartment wondering, what’s next?  We were living in the ghetto of a town we didn’t like, working jobs just to make ends meet, and feeling so out of place and confused.  After about nine months, one of our mentors told my husband that his office was hiring someone that would work directly under him, and that he felt like he was the one for the job.  In fact, this friend and his wife came to our house, prayed with us, had communion with us and told us that they felt like this was the next step for us.  My husband went for the interview and everyone loved him.  I knew in my heart that this was the next step for us.  I had already been looking at homes to buy in a nicer town, we had plans to continue to minister in the state that we loved and we were eager to settle into this next phase of our life.

It was a Friday night and we were waiting at home for the phone call that would confirm that my husband had gotten the job.  When the phone finally rang, I sat nervously, staring at my husband as he heard the news.  They had decided at the last minute to hire someone else because of their experience with foreign visas.  As my husband hung up the phone we both began to sob.  We didn’t understand what was going on.  Why did the Lord send us away from a church that we loved, away from our friends, our home, and send us to a place that we hated?  We were broken, hurt, and felt betrayed by God.  I remember my husband saying, “Why would God dangle this opportunity in front of us, just to rip it away?”  If this wasn’t the direction for us, why was it even shown to us?  That night I was devastated and I’m pretty sure I cried myself to sleep.

The next day my husband got up, went to the job he hated, and I stayed at home, still grieving from the loss I felt.  Surprisingly my husband came home from work with renewed hope.  He told me that he felt like God had something even better.  In my mind, I couldn’t figure out what would have been better than that job, but my husband’s positive outlook began to rub off on me. The following Wednesday we met with our district supervisor to see if he knew of any ministry positions we could apply for.  He told us
that he didn’t know of any, but that we should send him our resumes so he could send them out to other districts.  The next morning he flew to California for a missions meeting and sat at a table with several other pastors.  One of the pastors looked over at our supervisor and said, “I’m looking for a youth pastor, do you have anyone in mind that you would recommend?”  Our supervisor smiled, having us in mind, and told him that he did.

Well the end result was that we got the job, and this job was so much better than the first one, plus after a few short years the other job had to lay off most of their employees.  We have been blessed so much since then, and we are so privileged to be learning a tremendous amount under great leadership.  I wonder if God allowed us to see that opportunity just so he could show us that he cared about us more than that office job?  At the time we couldn’t see past our hurt and circumstances.  In our eyes it looked as if God really didn’t care too much about what we were going through.  But the truth is that He really did love us and want the best for us.

Are you going through something similar right now?  Maybe you’ve lost your home, gotten a bad health report, had a miscarriage, are suffering from some other terrible loss… the list could go on forever.

Matt 7:11 says, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”  Essentially this verse is saying that all of us love our children and want the best life for them, but we have a perfect God who wants so much more for His children.  It’s not always easy to see that when our emotions consume us.  It’s all about trusting in the Lord.  Just because we follow the Lord doesn’t mean that we are never going to be faced with difficult situations. The key is to remember that God always has our best interest in mind.  When we are obedient and faithful to the Lord during the difficult times, He blesses us tremendously and we always end up being better and stronger people.