This weekend, Pastor Todd talked about the design of the family. As I consider the order evident in the world God has created, it makes sense that there is also a design for our relationships. And, as we experience tension or frustration in those relationships, it can usually be attributed to something Pastor Todd said this weekend.
Deviation from the plan simply does not work.
In my own life, I've found that when I live according to the principles that are presented in scripture, my life goes better. When I don't live in line with God's word, my life doesn't go as well. Obviously, this doesn't mean that life is perfect. Matthew 5:44-45 informs us that good and bad happens to both the righteous and the unrighteous:
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (45) that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
It seems that it is in the midst of difficult times that we tend to deviate most from the plan in scripture. But it is while in seasons of struggle that I am reminded of the fact that God understands the human relationship better than anyone. In Ecclesiastes 1, Solomon laments the meaningless of things. In verse 9, however, there is something that bolsters my faith in the Word of God:
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
- Ecclesiastes 1:9
When Solomon says that "there is nothing new under the sun", he is telling us that the human condition is the same as it always has been. Throughout human history, people have faced hard times and good times, joy and sorrow, life and death. As Solomon points out this truth, I am reminded of the fact that God knows how human relationships function best. He created them after all!
In the midst of the trials you face, know that while the event causing your circumstances may be unique, the trial is not. Even the deviations are not new–sin has tried to draw us away from God's plan from the very beginning. As believers, we are blessed to have a plan that works, given to us by a God who loves us. God knows what you are facing, and He has given you His word to help. The point of all this isn't so our lives aren't all smiles. The point is that we become more and more like Him. Following His plan helps us do that.