Most of us are planners. Admittedly, some of us are more organized and more obsessive about our planning than others, but almost all of us have some tendency to plan. We plan doctor's appointments, dinner, sporting events, rehearsals, children's educational experiences, and more. We plan everything to some degree or another.
Think about the things in life that we don't plan though. You may plan what you are eating for dinner, but you typically do not plan whether or not you are going to eat dinner. Your body plans how often you eat for you, without consulting you. You may plan the time of day to visit the doctor, but your body plans when you need to visit the doctor. You may plan where and how your child is educated, but you don't plan whether or not they need to be educated. In fact, much of our planning is reactionary planning to something far greater than ourselves. As much as we want to think we are totally independent beings, we must admit that we are not independent. Actually, we are totally dependent beings.
We are reminded of our total dependence upon God every time our plans fail and we are forced to adapt to the circumstances that interrupted our plans. Very few of us have ended up living the life we thought we would live, and even fewer are living the lives they dreamed of living.
Our plans, and our timing, is relative to the absolute nature of God's sovereignty. Our timetable for life's events are subjective to the objective predetermined plans of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
James puts it this way, "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil (James 4:13-16)."
Now, I am not advocating that you shouldn't plan your family meals for the week, or that you shouldn't put a vacation on your schedule for next year, or that you shouldn't begin saving for your child's college education. I do believe though, that your plans should be held subject to God's authority and sovereign wisdom. In other words, hold your plans very loosely and trust God's timing!
This week spend some time with your journal considering the various plans that you have made but God has altered. How did you react? How did you handle that situation? Did it work out? Here are a couple of journal prompts to get you started:
Consider Romans 8:28 when you do this exercise. How do the truths presented here impact your reaction to the changes that God made to your plans? How do Romans 8:29-30, and even the following verses impact?
Watch my sermon from 1 Samuel 26, Trusting God's Timing, here: