“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” (Prov.16:9)
This truth seems to be the theme of my life. God seems to be in the business of redirection. No matter how certain I am about things there are just some days where nothing goes as planned. It could be an appointment, or a task, or a relationship that reminds me of how little control I have. Are there things in your life right now that are not going as planned?
God has a way of rearranging our lives at a moment’s notice. He likes to step in just when we think we have it down and tweak things. Initially, it’s frustrating, isn’t it? We find ourselves saying, “Hey, wait a minute God! I don’t like this change. I don’t want this obstacle. I don’t have time for this.” Our first response is often a request for God to fix the “problem”, remove the “obstacle” and get things back on OUR track. But maybe what we think is a “problem” is a greater solution? What if the “obstacle” is a warning? What if God’s plans are better than ours?
In theory, it’s easy to say that God’s plans are good for us but in the day to day grind of life, it’s not always what we believe.(Rom. 8:28) To truly believe that God is in control and that He works everything for your good should bring the greatest joy and peace to every situation. I can speak for myself, I don’t daily exhibit this kind of joy and peace. What’s the disconnect? My theology is solid when it comes to God’s sovereignty but my experience is fraught with the mood swings of a pregnant woman. (No offense to pregnant women!) No matter how adamant I am about God working all things for my good I struggle to find the good in a car accident, a lost job, or sickness.
Amidst the struggle here are three things I try and cling to through each circumstance and storm:
1 – “Divine Appointments”
I can’t tell you how many times God has slowed me down in order to connect someone with Jesus. Going at my own pace with my own plans I would have blown by the blessing. Why did you get bumped from your flight? Why did you have to change schools? Why did you get sick? We get so concerned with how we get there but God’s focus is on preparing the appointment. On the next flight, at the other school, during your sickness God has an appointment and He has a purpose. I’ve had more opportunities to tell people about Jesus, pray for them, and impact them from God’s redirected plans than my original plans. Maybe God is tweaking your plans to get you an audience with someone who needs Him. Don’t be so distracted by your broken plans that you miss redemptive moments.
2 – “If I can trust God with my eternity, why can’t I trust Him with today?”
If we really believe that God is big enough to handle our eternal life we must believe that He can handle today. The same God who moved heaven and earth to die for you and rescue you from sin and death is the same God of your daily difficulties. Fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfector of our faith is as much about eternity as it is about right now! His ability to love you through Jesus death and resurrection is a sustaining power. It’s a consistent power. God’s presence never leaves a Christian. So the joy and peace that I need in the craziest of moments are present in Jesus. The role of Jesus in my life must transcend my circumstances. No matter how frustrating, surprising, or painful my day gets I must choose to live in Jesus.
3 – God knows how to bring Greatness out of Mess.
The things we experience can either break us or build us up. God’s great goal for you and I is to see us live out the full life of Jesus. The glory of Jesus is as much a product of His divinity as it is His suffering. Even the little hardships we encounter are opportunities to embrace a communion with God that only come from God “ruining our day”. What we see as God “ruining” our plans may be exactly what we need. If His plans are better than mine why wouldn’t I give Him permission to ruin it all?
Jesus looked like a failed king to many as He hung on the cross but it was by way of the cross that Jesus took hold of His Kingship. He endured all things so that we might live. The full and eternal life that you and I can have by faith was built by the suffering of our Savior. There is a greatness that God creates within us that only shines through the refining of hardship. Perhaps what God is allowing right now in your life is His way of making you magnificent.
God wants to do something far greater in me than I could ever plan. So, before I plan another step I want to consider the value of God “ruining my day”.
Are you ready for God to ruin your plans?