I was recently struggling to make sense of a particularly long, difficult trial with lots of ripple effects. Everywhere I turned I was encountering doors closing, opportunities being stripped away, and broken things needing fixing. Sometimes I’ve wanted to yell at heaven to just throw me a bone. Why do I have to be kicked while I’m down? Can’t something in my life go right?!
One night, I read this scripture: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil” (Jer. 29:11, KJV). I then read it in Hebrew. The words for "thought" and “think” used here carry the implication of devising—not just kind, fluffy feelings of love, but love that motivates action.
“I know the plans I have for you. … [All of these] plans [are] for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Holman Christian Standard Bible translation).
That morning, the verse was a personal message from God: “Chelsea, I know exactly what I have planned for you. Every single thing I’m allowing is playing into the greater future I have in store. Trust Me.” It wasn't a miracle cure, but it gave me motivation to keep going.
God has a detailed, individualized plan for each of us. Being omniscient, He isn’t winging it. He already knows every choice, consequence, affliction, weakness. He’s accounted, and compensated, for all of it and has prepared a way for each thing that happens to us to be the exact stepping stones we need to reach something better.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf compared our lives to dot-pointillism art, where seemingly-arbitrary dots of color are combined to create a composite image (you may be familiar with the contemporary version of this art style called "diamond art").
“You may not see how the dots connect now, and you don’t need to yet. Simply have faith [and in some] future day, you will look back … and you will understand [that] … the Master Artist had a plan for those random dots all along. We will see that He has amplified our talents, prepared opportunities, and introduced us to possibilities far more glorious than we ever could have imagined or accomplished on our own. … With unspeakable gratitude, you will see that God Himself, in His abounding love, grace, and compassion, was always there watching over you, blessing you, and guiding your steps as you walked toward Him.” (Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults, Jan. 14, 2018. Emphasis added.)