The LORD has made everything for its own purpose. . . (Proverbs 16:4)
Did you know that God has a purpose for everything and everyone? He has a plan for your life.
Sometimes troubles will come into your life, and you know what? He even has a plan for your troubles. God’s plan is for us to look just like Jesus, and sometimes he has to use troubles to create that in us.
We live in the country, and so I need a tractor to mow the lawn. My tractor is a small older model, and I forgot to check the oil.
Well, the engine blew up. Guess I really should have seen that one coming.
It turns out the engine is a pretty important part of a tractor. Some even say the most important part of the tractor. It also turns out that engines are pretty expensive.
I found a friend who said he could repair it cheap, but he works on other, bigger tractors for farmers, so I would have to wait for a gap in his schedule.
Hey, no problem. I could go without mowing for a few weeks, right? What’s the worst that could happen?
About a month later, my lawn had basically transformed into the Amazon Rain Forest. Mosquitoes roughly the size of ducks were prowling around the house, and I think I saw a lemur in the underbrush.
Fortunately, my friend Jim had just bought a brand new John Deere. 30 horsepower. Gorgeous green with bright, yellow wheels. What a tractor! He saw my plight and took sympathy on me. He brought the John Deere over, parked it, and said, “Use it as long as you want.”
Hallelujah! My troubles were solved.
Once the deforestation process was completed, I kept the John Deere around to keep the yard in check until mine was back from the shop.
We had a border collie named Aggie at the time. Long story short, she wasn’t always the best behaved dog.
One morning I came out to see Aggie sitting in John Deere’s seat. She had a chunk of something spongy in her mouth, and I realized she had chewed a hole about the size of a softball in that new John Deere seat!
I was so mad I chased her all over the yard trying to beat her with a hose. It was a brand new hose, because she’d chewed my last one in two.
Of course, I couldn’t catch her. In fact, I think she might have thought it was all a game.
I was out of breath when my friend Macon called.
“Macon, my dog chewed the seat out of Jim’s new tractor.”
“Oh no,” said Macon. “Did you kill the dog?”
“I tried, Macon, but I couldn’t catch her.”
Then he said something out of the blue that made me so mad. He said, “Bill, what do you think God is trying to teach you through all of this?”
I hadn’t even thought about it, but it was something I needed to hear.
Knowing the truth isn’t the same as applying the truth. I can give a beautiful talk on seeing God’s purposes in our troubles. Sure, no problem. But all that doesn’t make a bit of difference until I find myself in the middle of my troubles and, instead of getting angry and chasing the dog around the yard with a hose, I ask God, “What are you teaching me through this?”
Only then will I discover His purpose. And only then will my troubles begin to make sense.