Sometimes I have an image in my mind that looks something like this…
It’s a cold morning, just before dawn, and I’m sitting in my truck at the edge of a recently cleared plot of land. Beside me is a rolled-up plan. It’s the plan for my life. I’m about to meet with God so that He can look it over. God shows up (I really don’t pay any attention to what kind of vehicle He drives…). I pull out the plans and lay them on the hood of my truck and He looks them over. “Did you do this?” He asks.
“All by yourself?”
“All by myself.”
“But you didn’t ask Me.”
(pause)“But I’m asking now.”
“Asking for what?”
(another pause, longer this time) “Asking for You to bless them.”
He looks at the plans again. “So, where do I fit in?”
“Me. Where do I fit in your plans?”
I flip a page or two of the sheets, “Here, right here, see, there You are. And You are in some other places too.”
He just looks at me.
“Let Me show you something,” He says. And, with that, He takes out His own plans and places the roll of papers on the hood. “You made plans all by yourself, that’s the problem. And the plans you have made by yourself would be really good plans, if you want to accomplish them all by yourself. These are My plans for you now.”
He unrolls a tiny bit of a corner for me to see. I look at it and say, “And…?”
“Do that, and then I’ll show you more.”
“But I would like to know the rest now.”
“You have plenty to do with this one corner now. Besides, these are My plans for you, not your plans for Me. You are a part of My plan, not the other way around. So, if anyone needs to get his plans in line, it’s you.”
I find myself confronted with that reality at times. I can get comfortable and so focused doing “my own thing” and ignore the One who has plans for my life. We can neglect spending time reading His Word and separate ourselves from worshipping Him with others, then begin to live according to what makes us happy or content with little regard for the things of God. Before long, our desires can become so twisted that they bear little resemblance to what God intended.
And even good desires can become difficult desires when the timing is tested. By now, I thought I would have found a sincerely-surrendered and God-honoring woman as the love of my life, gotten married and started a family, but that’s not happened yet. Patience can be hard to come by when you want something badly. Patience is also needed when things do happen, but happen badly.
It can be frustrating to believe you are “on-track” only to see things derail in moments, but how even more frustrating would it be to live in less than God’s absolute best for you? I have to remind myself that the “corner” that He lets me see makes little or no sense at the time because I can’t see the entire picture. If I could see it, and understand it as He does, I would want nothing less than what He wants for me, even if it may be painful at the time. He’s the Architect of the plans I am to follow.
He doesn’t need my wisdom to make His plans for me (“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (1 Cor.1:19b)), but I need His wisdom to follow the plan (James 3:13). Even when it seems like the plan is not what I wanted, and I am reeling, confused and heartbroken, He may be saving me from something (or someone) that would cause even more pain. The spanking I received as a child for disobeying my parents and running into the street was nothing compared to the pain of what could have been the next time an approaching car had not stopped. Heartbreak now is better than devastation later.
The only thing I can really offer to the accomplishing of the plan is my trust, obedience, and dependence upon Him. “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor.12:10b).
Are you a part of His plans, or is He a part of yours?
Where are you ignoring God’s plans for you?