One day, while watching a sports television station, I heard a story about an athlete who faced many health challenges. Blind in one eye, he relentlessly triumphed. He was a college basketball player who loved the sport and dreamt of going pro. It was apparent that playing professional ball was his dream because he wouldn’t give up. He wouldn’t quit. Though he had many adversities, he continued to work hard, play hard, and give his all in every game.
He prevailed in hardships, and was selected into the NBA Draft. After all the struggling, giving his all, and beating the odds, Isaiah Austin wasn’t afforded the opportunity to play in the NBA. His medical condition prevented him. I imagined it was heartbreaking and extremely hard for him to accept his dreams of playing in the NBA would not come true because God had other plans.
In his interview, Isaiah discussed his support system from his family and God. What tugged at my heart most was Isaiah’s unwavering spirit to accept God’s will. Though he wouldn’t achieve his dream of being an NBA player, Isaiah Austin could still smile, hold his head up and find peace in God’s decision.
I wept at Isaiah’s story. I cried for two reasons.
I understand how it feels to have your dreams snatched from your hands. It’s very painful, and leaves you asking many questions. Why? What did I do wrong? God, are you angry with me? Are you punishing me? What now?
Even though this young man’s dream of playing basketball in the NBA wouldn’t be a reality, Isaiah kept a smile on his face. And despite the disappointments, he still gave glory to God.
So, what happens when God changes our plans? What happens when things don’t work out the way we had been praying, hoping, and waiting for? What happens when the answer is not what we wanted to hear? After receiving bad news, how do we keep our heads up, and have a genuine smile on our face? We remember this known fact and promise from God:
“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for” (Jer. 29:11, GNT).
My sister, though things may not go according to our plans, God’s plans for our lives are always better, bigger, and best. After we’ve experienced setbacks, heard the bad news, and our dreams won’t come true, we can place all our hope and dreams in the Lord.
We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose (Rom. 8:28, CEV).
Encouraging You to Walk in Freedom!
*Posted 7/25/14 on http://www.rhovondalbrown.com
Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart.
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