If you are a planner, there is nothing so stressful as not being able to make, or implement, your plan. I am a planner and a list maker. I like to plot things out in chronological order, with all the details I can imagine penciled in. I like to color code my plans with sticky notes or on the computer with highlights. Oh, on the computer I like to make tables that are color coded – that’s the best! I know, it is a little bit of a sickness… Planners like me feel best having decisions made and whenever possible, we really like to have a contingency plan, a Plan B and maybe a Plan C and D as well. If you are a good planner, you know that many unexpected things can happen and you like to think those through to make sure you are ready for anything. For a really committed planner, there is a joy in all this endless plotting – though in the end, we cannot really be sure how any of it will go.
God is a planner too. He Himself said: remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘˜My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all My purpose’ (Is 46:9-10). Our planning is temporal, focused on this life, and His planning is eternal. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:16-17). In all of our planning, often we forget the purpose of His plan. We chafe anxiously if we have to wait to find out about the next move, the next job, the next relationship. But the Lord is concerned with bigger things. His plan supersedes ours, not only because He is God, but also because His plan is better and His purpose is more noble. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.(2 Peter 3:9).
God has a much larger sphere of influence than we do when we plan! Yet He is able to weave things together in spite of the complexity involved: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28 NAS). How wonderfully He loves us…His plans for us are very personal: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jer 29:11 ESV). He has always taken this interest in His creation. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him (Is 64:4 ESV). But the waiting is the hardest part. God knows this about us, as He know everything about us. Yet we are promised: those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Is 40:31 NKJV). Another version says “but those who hope in the LORD“… (NIV). Waiting on the Lord is hoping or trusting in Him. That’s what we are missing sometimes when we wait – hope, trust.
We have been in a long period of waiting in my house. Our family has been waiting to hear where the military will send us next and moving requires planning on steroids. My husband has had some health problems and we have been waiting for a very long time for a diagnosis. My mother is having chemo treatments for ovarian cancer, and we are waiting for her treatment to be successfully accomplished. My kids are waiting to get a pet, waiting to get a basketball goal…all this till we know where we are moving. And I, I have been waiting for direction from the Lord in these and many other areas. At some point I had to just stop planning, realizing the futility of it. At first I grieved the loss of this “control”. But then I realized that any control we think we have is just an illusion. We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps (Prov 16:9). Nothing else is determining the plan for us…not me, not an institution, not another person, not a sickness… There is such a comfort in knowing that only God has the control. I also realized that part of His plan for us is learning to wait in hope. We must remember that He has the plan and He has the power to implement it, and His purposes are greater than ours.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. (Rom 5:3-5).
justAgirl…just like you