The Wonder Of The Bigger Plan

By: Pat Drechsler

Luke 1:29

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be…

As a sole proprietor with a niche market in the hard-hit tourism and hospitality industry, it was difficult to meet my financial obligations. Business opportunities shrank and I had to make a significant financial investment to develop my skills in new areas in order to appeal to additional markets. I’m not alone. Many have and do share similar struggles.

When I looked at the bills piling up and the empty calendar, it was discouraging and stressful. At times I found myself being short with others and angry at God.

One day, feeling “greatly troubled” like Mary, I took my fear and anger to the Lord in prayer. Upon reflection, I came to understand that when things are difficult, instead of criticizing and judging, I am to respond like Mary at the Annunciation: open to the wonder of his bigger plan. One definition of “wonder” is “to feel curiosity; to wait with expectation.”

Since that time, the thought, “Lord, how can you ask so much from me? Haven’t I struggled long enough?” has changed to, “Lord, I wonder what you’re doing in this situation.” While my financial situation was still tough, I had less anxiety because I remembered that the Lord’s plan is wonderful. My stress level also went way down because it takes far less energy to wonder than to complain!

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: How do I handle long-term or chronic struggles?