As a child and now as an adult woman, something I always admired about my late Daddy was that he always kept his promises. If he said he was going to do something, it was done. In fact, even before I could tell time, I remember as I child that I always knew it was 5 pm or dinner time because that was the time he always came home from work. I may not have always agreed with my Daddy, but I always trusted and respected him because of that consistency. Some say that the relationship you have with your natural father also affects how you see your relationship with God.
I agree with that because I trusted my Daddy, I also trust God…when he says he’s going to do something, I believe it’s going to happen. What I’ve also learned as an adult is that God’s promises are trustworthy even when others are not. Sometimes I’ve thought that because what I believed God promised didn’t happen when I thought it should, God’s purpose had changed.
One of the most intriguing movies I’ve seen in recent years was The Adjustment Bureau which shows how much our free will can impact how we perceive God’s preordained plans and promises for our lives. A friend recommended that I see it and thought I would enjoy it because it had great spiritual concepts that I should pay attention to. He was right; I did enjoy the movie and especially liked the following lines spoken by Harry Mitchell (played by Anthony Mackie) who worked for the mysterious organization called The Adjustment Bureau: “Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you'll never know how to use it until you fight for it. I think that's The Chairman's real plan. And maybe, one day, we won't write the plan. You will.”
These lines reminded me of scriptures in the bible that talk about God and his plans for our lives. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Since God gave us free will and the ability to choose, maybe part of His greater purpose is that we start making better choices and remember His promises.
One day as I was praying, God gave me this revelation how to hold onto promises I was still waiting for him to fulfill: “God’s promise remains the same even when people leave and circumstances change.” Since I’d been praying about some recent changes in my life, I thought of it as an answer to my prayers about those recent changes. It was comforting to know that no matter how long I’d been waiting on those promises to be fulfilled, God’s promises were still valid. I just needed to keep waiting because even if the plan changed, God’s promises remain unchanged.
Shewanda Riley, PhD is a Fort Worth, Texas based author of “Love Hangover: Moving from Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @shewanda.