Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Proverbs 19:21
Plans change. Plans fail. Plans succeed. Planning and to-do lists and life goals aren’t wrong if we are allowing the LORD to sit at the wheel regardless of what’s to come.
Ouch. Wait just a minute. Slam on the breaks and let’s have a come to Jesus meeting. Actually, I’m preaching to myself right now. You know the kind of preaching that requires a hanky for excess saliva? That’s it. Right now.
You see it is clearly obvious that I have not mastered a peaceful, trusting heart when plans go awry. Now I’m not talking about when a friend cancels dinner or a spoiled vacation happens and I’m not talking about misbehaving children or tardiness to life events either. I’m talking about deep real life stuff that somehow I think I can control. I’m talking about the unplanned life changes and hardships and pain that can knock the wind right out of you.
My plans were never to suffer with severe depression and anxiety.
I never wanted to be separated from my husband.
Self harm and suicide attempts were never written in a planner for my family.
Moving sixteen times in life was never a dream I had.
Not having my daddy for 18 years was nothing I had hoped for.
Rocky relationships. Bankruptcy. College dropout. Sickness. Disease. You name it.
Our plans seem to never include the uncomfortable or traumatic or opposite direction. Just this past week, my Heavenly Daddy said no to not only one plan, but two. Good and exciting plans. Two times. Two dreams. And now I have a choice to make. I can either throw a temper tantrum or sink into despair or I can hold my head high and actually believe in the promises of Almighty God.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
My pastor said something yesterday, actually a lot of things, that sent my sinful self straight to repentance and jolted me back to reality. A good reality that God has provided, even when it doesn’t feel like it. He asked, “Do you really trust Jesus?” And there you have it my friends. The root issue. TRUST.
You see, we can plan to be a successful business owner or happily married or have as many children as our hearts desire, but what happens when we can’t? We can plan to never give up or never experience disease or heartbreak, but what happens when we do? What happens when pregnancy tests don’t lie and rejection happens and divorce papers are served? TRUST.
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
I don’t know what you are facing this evening, but if you’re like me, I’m looking straight into a life that has turned out completely differently than I had planned. And we can continue to stare at what hurts or is uncomfortable or isn’t likable or we can focus on a Sovereign God that knows how to run our lives much better than we ever could.
This past Sunday, I also had the gift to stand in front of a sea of church goers and read the very truth that anchors my soul.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Sweet friends, it’s time to stop panicking when the to-do list can’t be checked off and when future plans go undone or when pain becomes reality. We have a Heavenly Father who has promised good from bad, protection from harm, help when needed, and an eternity with Him. What more could we possibly want?
Tonight I am praying that we will exhale control that we think we have or need and breathe in the faithfulness of God. It’s so much sweeter to sleep in peace than to lie awake because of changed plans. Let us choose to believe what scripture promises and trust in an unfailing God. His purpose is far greater than anything would could ever dream up anyway.
Whether it’s a lesson being taught, protection from harm, a bountiful blessing, or nothing we can conceive, God’s plans are much better than our own. I’m tired of moping in self-pity and cowering in fear and am ready to stand firm in the love of God. What do you say? Are you with me? Do you really trust Jesus?