When I Question God’s Plan

When I Question God’s Plan

March 9, 2017

“‘Now what have I done?’ said David. ‘Can’t I even speak?’” 1 Samuel 17:29 (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

I hadn’t told anyone. I wasn’t going to tell anyone. This private conversation with God was too tender and raw to share. For hours, I had spilled out all my concerns to Him — begging for answers and desperately wanting the gnawing pain in my heart to go away.

The truth is I was deeply concerned and heart-broken about some things which happened earlier that day to make me question my calling. Things that made me wonder if my purpose in life had changed. Circumstances that produced full-on hot tears as I cried out to God throughout the day in discouragement.

Was God really concerned? Was my life’s calling about to take a sharp left turn that I wasn’t prepared for? How would I recover from this latest blow of hurt and disappointment? Instead of feeling purposeful, I stood in my kitchen with a sinking suspicion God was placing me on a shelf to collect dust for a while.

I knew God loved me, but honestly, I wasn’t feeling very loved at that moment. I felt as if Satan were throwing darts at me labeled: Forgotten. Invisible. Not good enough.

I imagine that’s the way a young shepherd boy named David must have felt centuries ago. Although the prophet Samuel specifically appointed David as the next king of Israel, many years would pass and many difficult things would happen before David made it to the palace. The ruling king, Saul, questioned him, and so did David’s older brothers. To the point where right before he killed a certain giant named Goliath, David even exclaimed, “Now what have I done? … Can’t I even speak?” (1 Samuel 17:29).

God had chosen, anointed and empowered David to be Israel’s greatest king in the Old Testament. Yet as we unwrap David’s story, we see how he was placed in many situations which were perfect environments for his doubts and uncertainty to take root and flourish.

Relentlessly, David was hunted by King Saul who vowed to kill him. He lived in caves, was constantly on the run and had his fair share of fierce battles against vicious enemies.

David must have had some hard days and sleepless nights where he, too, questioned his calling. I wonder if one struggle after another — one detour after another — one delay after another — caused David to examine his situation and ask God if He still planned to fulfill His predestined purposes in David’s life? Maybe there were even brief moments when he felt forgotten, invisible, not good enough?

God had begun a good work in David and He was faithful to complete it. The detours … the delays … were all a part of the journey that prepared him to reign as king. The palace would not have been possible if the destination to it would have been cut short.

Thankfully, we know David trusted God despite the enormous challenges he faced. And we get a glimpse of David’s thoughts as we read his words in Psalm 138:8, “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (NKJV)

On that difficult day when I wept in deep discouragement, the Lord brought Psalm 138:8 to mind. It was like drinking a cupful of reassurance, allowing me to pause, take a deep breath and feel God’s tender presence wrap around me.

Those beautiful words were originally penned thousands of years ago by David, and yet they spoke truth right into my situation that day. Reassuring me. Comforting me. Rekindling my hope once again.

The same applies to you and me. God is forever faithful and will complete the work He’s begun in our lives. We have to trust Him — on good days and bad days. When doors of opportunity open wide and when detours delay us for a while. Every season has a purpose, and every part of God’s plan for our lives is good. He promises to perfect all that concerns us … today and for our future.

Heavenly Father, You are greater than any obstacle I face and Your love for me endures forever. Help me to follow You on good days and bad days. To trust You moment by moment. Even when my purpose seems vague or my calling appears far off in the distance. When my concerns begin to consume me, Your love will perfect each one with unfailing grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Philippians 1:6, “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. (AMP)

If you’ve ever felt discouraged about reading and studying God’s Word because you don’t think you’re doing it right, you’re not alone. That’s why Proverbs 31 Ministries created our FREE app called First 5! In just 5 minutes a day you can get a deeper understanding of Scripture and grow your relationship with the Lord. We’re beginning our study of 1 & 2 Samuel this week and providing a new opportunity for you to study with a group! Get started here.

For more encouragement stop by Leah DiPascal’s blog today, and share your own story of God’s calling on your life.

What are some things that concern you today? List them on a piece of paper, then write out a prayer asking God to perfect your concerns with His unfailing love and grace. Finally, declare out loud Philippians 1:6 (above) with confidence and assurance until your heart believes it.

© 2017 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

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  1. Thank you Leah!!! I wrote this verse on a post it note a week or so ago and stuck to my bathroom mirror so I can memorize it. Your devotion came at the right time. I know God is not finished with me yet. ~Lisa~

  2. This is so right where I am at. I will be 40 in August and been through so much, I am finally asking God, what is my calling?? still not sure

  3. When our adopted sons were teens, the whole process seemed like a failure: troubles in school, angry words at home, no sense of family. I wept and prayed, “Where did we go wrong, Lord?”

    My answer came in the form a radio sermon–just a few sentences, not a whole message. I can’t tell you who was speaking, but his words burned forever into my soul: “God doesn’t call us to succeed. God calls us to obey.”.

    • Thank you for sharing this
      “God doesn’t call us to succeed. God called us to obey.”
      Wow! This opened my heart.

    • Deborah says:

      Your post blessed my socks off Shirlee. We are going through trouble times as a family with my granddaughter and this power yet short statement means the world to me right now, I don’t want to lose my girl to the world, thank you so very much!!!

    • Dorothy Glover says:


    • What a powerful message in those few words. “God did not call us to succeed. He called us to obey.” How those words blessed me this morning. Thank you Shirlee for sharing them.

    • Amen ❤

    • Hi Shirley,

      Thank you for sharing, this devotion came right on the heels of a court hearing that we had yesterday for some “sweet kiddos” in our family. It was a big hearing and absolute shock yesterday, but God isn’t surprised by any of it. Praying for him to remind me to run to him always and know that he loves these “sweet kiddos” even more than we do, and in the name of Jesus claiming my life verse of Philippians 1:6 over this while situation and their future.

      Thank you Jesus that you can use all of this journey to lead me and our family to you for strength and guidance to help us. We know you are a Good Father and you want all of your children to be in families. You love these “sweet kiddos” even more than we do, and you will work all things for your good. Help us to continue to trust you for the journey ahead and protect , love, and keep all of the sweet faces in our family in your loving arms. It is in the mighty , perfect, matchless day of Jesus I pray! Amen!!!! James 1:27

  4. Joanne Ross says:

    Thank you i was having a sleeplessness night as i awaken i read your devotional and it came at the right time my son that went to be with the Lord birthday is today God bless you

    • Joy Barnes says:

      Praying for you Joanne. Praying for God to wrap his arms around you and comfort your aching hard❤

    • Joy Barnes says:

      Oops sorry for the typo…heart❤

    • Joanne,
      Praying for you right now as you go through this day and reflect and remember your son’s birthday. Hugs to you.

    • Prayers for you Joanna. I too lost a child when she was 8 years old. It was a long time ago but the heart remembers.

    • God bless and soothe your heart ❤ today Joanne in a sweet and tender and wonderful way. Sending loads of love and prayers your way. ❤?Many Blessings to you from above ???

  5. Interesting how God works, I had a day like this yesterday so the reminder that God keeps His promises and will perfect what He started is exactly what I needed.

  6. This was an encouraging message for me! It was even more special because God had me to read Philippians 1:6 just yesterday! Thank you for sharing, Leah!

  7. Thank you for the devotional. We are going through an incredibly hard journey right now and trusting God is not easy. Our baby has been in the hospital sinse early Dec because he has an immune deficiency and needs bone marrow transplant. He was flown to Montreal on Monday and transplant is supposed to take place on the 30th. Well yesterday we got word saying he has lymphoma cancer. We’re asking for prayers as they do more tests today. We’re praying that the cancer hasn’t spread and that they can continue with plans.

    • Joy Barnes says:

      Praying for your baby healing❤

    • I’m so sorry you got this news. I’m praying for you and your baby now. ❤️

    • Praying for your sweet baby, for you and for your family. ?

    • DK my heart breaks for your family. It’s so hard at times when the pain is so great to see God’s hand at work, but don’t lose faith, don’t give up! My prayers are with you, your family and the medical staff.

    • Praying for your sweet baby boy, and your sweet mama heart too. God sees your suffering.

      After her encounter with God, Hagar gave Him the name El Roi – the God who sees. Gen. 16:13 “She [Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Many blessings to you and your family.

    • Praying for that sweet baby! My grandson has had many difficulties in his short life and spent over half of it in the hospital. I know how difficult this is on you and your family. Continue to look to our loving God for strength and peace. Sending hugs and prayers!

    • Prayers for you and your sweet baby. My heart hurts for you. I don’t have answers, but I know God sees and feels your pain and every tear. I wish there was some way to help. Please let us know how you are. We’ll keep praying!

      • Thank you for your prayers. They did some more tests today and so they can’t find the cancer anywhere besides his neck so that’s an answer to prayer. And they’re hoping to shrink the tumour without chemo and continue with transplant plans. Praying we can go back home before summer.

        • Denita, thank you for sharing this updated information with us. I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet baby’s diagnosis. I’m praying that God will remove all the cancer and keep your little one safe as he goes through the bone marrow transplant. I”m also praying for you as this experience must be incredibly difficult for your entire family.

  8. After being without a vehicle for over a year, yesterday my husband and I finally got to put our Yukon in the shop to get repaired… Throughout the year I often prayed and wondered why God would allow us to struggle and face the difficulties of having 7 children and not being able to afford a vehicle or to repair the car we already owned. Just now reading this I began to think of all the good that has come from this situation and the struggles that we have endured for so long.
    Since not having a car, there have been several times when we’ve had to depend on those around us for help. Well, right before our car broke down we had just moved to this area. My husband is originally from this area but I, on the other hand, didn’t know anyone around here, except for his family. (Most of whom are not really good people). After being down here for some time I prayed that God would bring good, positive, caring, successful people into the lives of my children, my husband and mine. Since having no transportation to get around to even the simplest of places, (grocery store, doctors, etc) there have been many times that the people in this community and the church have offered and took it upon themselves to give us rides and even loan us a vehicle to get where we needed to go. While riding with them we would, of course, engage in conversation and during those times spent doing so, (over the past year), have brought me extremely close to a few goodhearted, kind, Christian people. These same people are the same people who invited my children and I to church and to programs, such as kids club, that the church provides. I’ll admit that at first, I felt obligated to attend, (I was never raised in church), but after finally saying yes and attending that first service something within me stirred and I longed to know more. Since then we have become a member of that church family and my children and I attend and participate in several programs and events sponsored by the church. Throughout the process of not having a car, struggling to just “get by” and “make it”, I have found a family away from my family and most importantly, I found God and a never ending love for Him and His ways! Looking back I am extremely grateful for the ways God has provided for my family and I… I cannot even begin to count the ways I have been blessed throughout this season of my life.
    Of course, I am still praying that now we gotten our vehicle in the shop and we can afford to get it repaired, that everything goes well, that the mechanic doesn’t have any complications, that the price doesn’t go above our budget and that soon we will have a DEPENDABLE, sturdy ride for our family. But now, I have the faith that God will continue to bless us and provide. God is so good!

    • What a wonderful testimony! How amazing that God used something like a broken down car to bring you to Himself. Praise His name!

    • Amanda, thank you for sharing your story. It’s amazing how God can use what seems like a very unfortunate situation and turn it around for our good and His glory. All the wonderful relationships you developed had a tremendous impact on your family and your faith. God is amazing!

    • All I have to say good this:
      listen to this song.
      Unanswered prayers. By Garth Brooks.

      Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers so we can get to where he is taking us.. God answered prayers on HIS TIME. NOT OURS.


  9. Dawn Grace says:

    This devotional was exactly what my heart needed today. God has had me on such a journey. I get tired and weary in the waiting. My prayer has been for God to “help me wait well.” Leah thanks for the drink of cool water to refresh me today in my wait. I will spend the day with Psalm 138:8 as my praise to God. It speaks light and peace into my heart. I see why its one of your favorites!

  10. Thank you ❤ I just poured my heart into my prayer journal with these concerns of my own. Asking God how will I get through this season of my life which feels unknown. Wondering what my purpose is and how I’ve gotten completely overwhelmed and overtaken by self doubt and insecurity. I felt like through your words that God wrote this for me. Thank you ❤

  11. So perfectly timed. Thank you so much. I am feeling disconnected and irrelevant…thank you for the reminder to wait on the Lord and embrace the journey. I need to remember to keep my eyes open as I go!

    Many blessings!

  12. Rebecca Diaz says:

    Thank you for this today. It is helping to be strong in my trying times. I am barreling anxiety and depression and yesterday my son was hospitalized with severe pancreatitis and extremely high cholesterol. He is turning 19 in May and this is his third time with pancreatitis and each time it has gotten worse. Doctors did find something and will discuss that with us soon. I am afraid for my son and I feel like my anxiety is on edge. Please keep us in your prayers. Thank you.

    • Rebecca Diaz says:

      I meant *Battling* anxiety and depression.

    • Amy Dowty says:

      Praying for you and your son. I have battled depression as well, found the book “Hope Prevails” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson very helpful. http://www.drmichellebengtson.com

    • Rebecca
      I don’t usually leave a comment, but I felt a need to respond to you. While I can’t possible know what you are going through, I can empathize. I, too, am struggling with sudden on-set of anxiety and depression because of personal medical issues. Our beautiful 21 year old daughter is multiple handicapped and in a wheelchair with limited speech and cognitive abilities. For my family, it was easy to turn to God for guidance and support during trying times. However, it has been more difficult for me because I was always the one in “control” . I have come to accept the realization that I am not in control, but God is in control. I pray that you and your family trusts God to send you the doctors and medications that is needed for recovery. He has a plan for us! God bless and I will keep you in my prayers.

  13. Thank you so much. I am feeling disconnected and irrelevant…thank you for the reminder to wait on the Lord and embrace the journey. I need to remember to keep my eyes open as I go!

    Many blessings!

  14. Dorothy Glover says:

    Oh, what an awesome God we serve! His timing for my reading this post this morning was perfect! Last night I facilitated a Bible study at Life Group and afterwards felt like a total misstep! But God is on time! I just received a text from one of the other women encouraging me, and now I read this post. I’ve been on the shelf for months and wondered why, what did I do to cause this, what can I do to change it. Nothing! God is in control and when He was ready, He took me down and brushed off the dust and cobwebs so that HIS LIGHT can shine through! Hallelujah! Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!

  15. I know this is something I battle with. Is this really what you called me to do, God? When I face rejection or feel as if no one’s listening, I start to question. Thanks for the reminder to press on, be thankful and wait.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Wonderful devotion! Thank you very much!!

  17. I am in a season of life where I feel like I have no real purpose. My kids are older now and don’t really need me as much. I am so bored with life. I have prayed for myself but I’m not seeing change. Please pray. Thank you!

    • I understand! That transition from “actively mom-ing” to “ok, now what?” is very hard. Who am I? What do I do? Is there another mission that I will see is really my mission? Is this a rest and vacation time? Will my next “mission” be as encompassing as raising children was? Or will it be little things here and there? Will my abilities come into play? And yes, it can be boring 🙂

      It’s kinda like being in soccer: the goalie has ONE main job. It is obvious and he owns his box.

      The forwards have ONE job. They get the ball to the other team’s goal.

      But then sometimes I wonder if I am in “sweeper” mode: sort of johnny-on-the-spot. Defend if I need to, score if I can. Block the other team. Assist the goalie. Pass the ball. Just whatever whenever. And that is a HARD place to be–not because I don’t want that flexibility, I love flexibility :D, but because I don’t know if I am supposed to be another position :). I don’t know what the Lord wants me to DO (except I do: act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. But what does that actually look like at 10:17 on a Thursday morning?). Am I looking for too much? I overthink.

      Then there is the change of social circle. Digging out old dreams and see if they still fit. Or wondering if I should even try them on.

      Am I invisible? Am I useful? A whole lot of loud and empty :).

      But the Lord has a plan and it is a perfect one. I just need to delight in Him and He will take care of the rest. But I still am looking for a to-do list. That is why this devotional was so helpful. Just wait, be patient, do what I can when I can, and let the Lord choose my position: goalie or sweeper 🙂

  18. what do you want to do with my life O’God? I don’t know what’s going on anymore. I laid everything down in Dec. now What?

  19. Jesse Noel says:

    Thank you, and praise God, for having the courage and conviction to share this devotional today. Reading this has given me such clarity on my own situation–circumstances that, previously, I hadn’t really known how to put into words. God bless you all!

  20. Carolyn R says:

    Thanks, Leah, for a beautiful reminder that our God is greater than any obstacle and never takes His eyes off of us.

  21. Sandra Pleasure says:

    My heart breaks for my husband who’s had years of music experience professionally and has just as much experience in music ministries. He’s not in a leadership position right now but desires to be. I’ve seen him passed over numerous times. My daughter auditioned to get in this particular college her friends got accepted and it’s been 3 weeks and she’s heard nothing. I feel so frustrated. I know that somewhere in the future I will look back on these situations and see a better plan, a greater opportunity. I can’t see past the uncertainty. The devotional help me and the story about David encouraged me to keep praying and trusting in God. He has a greater plan.

  22. For all of you who are struggling…


    Unanswered prayers by Garth brooks.

  23. I desperately needed to read this devotion. After being a widow for 19 years and desperately wanting to marry again I thought I had found him. However it can’t happen now ifeel like It’s not fair that others find love again and I don’t get to. I am 46. I’m not old. I know God told me I would be married but I fee like he’s forgotten. I actually read that verse completely randomly the other night. Just opened my Bible and there it was. I also read a great quote the other day too.
    If you think you’ve blown Gods plan for your life rest in this: you, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.
    That, along with the verse from Psams encouraged me so much and helped me be at peace.

  24. NancyDoherty says:

    I need to remember God has a plan for my life!
    My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for almost 12 years this June I’ve had three miscarriages we are getting older as we continue to try
    We feel like big failures!!! I love Jesus with my whole heart. I didn’t know why he won’t give us a baby!!!!
    This is a very painful and lonely season of life to be in
    Gods will be done! God bless you all!!

  25. This devotional was so encouraging for me, thank you for sharing this. I was praying just this week and asking God, “did I miss something?” “I really thought you said…..” This devotional helped me be reminded that the process to get to the promise of GOD is not always straight, fast and logical. I trust GOD and this has renewed my hope.
    Thank you.

  26. Much needed and encouraging word. Thank you!

  27. Alison Hall says:

    Yes sometimes we dont understand what God is doing and it can be very hard when you see others around you that seem to be getting the thing(s) you so desperately feel you need. Loss is one of the hardest crosses to bear. But God knows all about it as He was prepared to send His own son from heaven to die on a cross for a world of sinners.
    I became a christian 35 years ago and have been praying all those years for some very big things and have not yet seen Gods answers. The wilderness is a hard place to wait but I know God has heard everyone of those prayers and will answer them in His way and His time for my good and His glory. He may not give me what I am asking for and I just have to trust His goodness and faithfulness.

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