Plans and Purposes

My heart is grieved over the senseless loss of life in the Oakland warehouse fire from the weekend – I simply can’t wrap my mind around how someone could be so negligent to allow such a catastrophe to occur. From a spiritual perspective, it’s challenging to fathom the horrific loss of life, along with the devastating grief and loss that the victims’ families will endure for many years to come. I’ll likely never understand why this tragedy (or any tragic event) occurred.

However, what I do know is that God has a plan for each person’s life that He is in the process of working out. I must remember that I can only be responsible for my own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and – despite my best intentions – I am unable to control the thoughts and behaviors of others. I can do my best to be a positive influence, but I cannot – and should not – strive to control those around me.

So, while this post is a bit heavier than any of its predecessors, I have found two main reasons to be thankful today: 1) I am grateful for my God-given freedom to choose to love and follow Him (or not – God respects our choices and will not force His way into our lives); and 2) I can rest in the knowledge that God loves me and has a good plan for my life – although, not one that exempts me from pain – and as the Bible indicates, His purposes cannot be thwarted. 

So here is my prayer for today: Dear God, my heart is hurting over the tragedy in Oakland. Please provide Your peace and comfort to the victims’ families, the survivors, and the first responders, both now and in the painful times to come. 

I also want to thank You for loving me enough to give me the freedom to choose to follow You (or not), and for the good plans that You have purposed for my life. Things are hard now, but I have determined in my heart to trust You and Your plan, no matter what my eyes perceive and what my heart tells me. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.

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