Photo by Phil Gold on Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Before the advent of rear cameras in vehicles, some drivers had trouble knowing if they were properly backed into a parking space.

(Come to think of it, some drivers still have trouble with this, despite having rear cameras!)

Some people may need several attempts to get centred in the spot. They may have to open their car doors and peek down to see how far they are from the lane markers.

They just don’t have a sense of whether they’re in the centre or not.

I think all of us can relate to this. Perhaps not as drivers, but certainly in life, because we often don’t know if we’re in the centre of God’s will or not.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell, isn’t it?

We can’t always determine whether we’re in God’s will by merely looking at our circumstances. We might be going through some terribly difficult life events, and think, “This can’t be God’s will for me. It looks all wrong.”

And yet we might actually be smack dab in the centre of God’s will for our lives at that time.

Take Joseph in the Old Testament. He was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery in a foreign land, falsely accused by his master’s wife, and then thrown into prison, where he languished for years.

Doesn’t sound like he could possibly be in the centre of God’s will, does it?

And yet he was.

Joseph was precisely where God wanted him to be.

Some people might have argued that Joseph must have done something wrong for God to have allowed all those unjust things to happen to him. They might have said that this wasn’t what God’s blessing looked like.

But they’d have been wrong.

God was slowly but surely doing an awesome work in Joseph’s life. He was setting in place the circumstances which would lead to Joseph becoming prime minister of Egypt and saving countless lives from famine.

The apostle Paul is another good example.

His journey sailing to Rome as described in Acts 27 seemed like one disaster after another. Whatever could go wrong apparently did: contrary winds, lost time, a typhoon-like storm at sea, panicked jettisoning of the ship’s cargo and tackle, and eventual shipwreck many miles from their destination.

It seemed like Paul was jinxed. Clearly he’d missed God’s will for his life somewhere down the line and had gotten hopelessly off course.

Or had he?

Actually, the rough journey and shipwreck on the island of Malta were part of God’s plan. During his three-month stay there, Paul prayed for and healed many sick people. He made an eternal impact for the gospel there that wouldn’t have happened if he’d had smooth sailing straight to Rome.

Paul had been in the centre of God’s will all along.

And what about us?

I think the same holds true. Sometimes we’ll face one calamity or failure after another and believe that we’re missing out on God’s best for our lives. We can’t see that any good could come out of our circumstances, and figure we must have lost our way somehow.

To be sure, sometimes the messes we find ourselves in are entirely of our own making. We may be sinning or in disobedience to God, and are most definitely out of His will.

In many cases, however, we’re right where He wants us.

But how do we tell the difference?

Make sure you’re obeying the word of God, aligning your actions with the character of Jesus, and keeping the lines of communication with Him open through prayer. Then ask Him to give you discernment and wisdom about your situation through the Holy Spirit.

You may be given a sense of peace about your predicament. You may be led to some Bible promises which give you assurances that God has your circumstances under His control. But no matter what, keep your faith strong and trust that God will work all things together for your good and His glory.

The centre of God’s will may at times look all wrong to our eyes, but that’s because we can’t see things from a Heavenly perspective. In the midst of our storms, we can’t see that God may actually be making things right.

Eventually, when we look back at certain confusing times in our lives, we may discover that God had us parked right where He wanted us all along.

So trust your Heavenly Father–He won’t steer you wrong!

“Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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