Close your eyes. Imagine you are sitting on a couch with feet propped, sipping a warm beverage of your choosing. Calm, soothing music plays as you chat with a friend about topics near and dear to you.
Sounds like a perfect scenario, doesn’t it? My muscles relax just thinking about this….
It would be nice if we could control our circumstances and environment in such a way that this is the norm in our lives rather than the exception. There are those of you who are able to do just that and I give you mad props.
But for the rest of us, it is easy to live in disappointment that everything is not “just so.” Our houses are chaotic, our kids are a mess, our meal plan is non existent and our social life is spotty at best. Or maybe it is worse than that.
Perhaps, you have parenting struggles. Maybe your marriage is in a valley. There may be some of you dealing with serious health issues or financial issues or… issues.
Life rarely goes how we think it should.
Americans have a reputation for being control freaks. Everything must be a certain way or we will lose it in a big way. We have a hard time with the concept of leaning on something else or giving control to anyone other than ourselves.
Ask me how I know.
This time last year I was finding out that we were expecting not one, but TWO little babies. That after having finally planned out how being a mom to six would work, the plan changed with an ultrasound appointment. My field trip schedules? Gone. Continuing beloved ministries? Nope. It was back to the drawing board on how to make life work with this unexpected twist.
It has been a resounding theme in my life in many small ways: A man can plan his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9) We can plan every detail of our lives. I could give you stories about all the plans that I have devised. Every idea and goal I have planned for myself… it is downright inspirational. I used to share how my plan fit God’s so well- or so I thought.
But time after time He has changed my plans. Everything that I thought was in my control was not in my control at all. It was always in God’s hands. And there it will remain whether I think it is or not.
I’m sitting right now watching two of those plan changers playing on the floor. As they crawl around exploring and playing, they feel that they have control over their little world. They grab toys to stick in their mouths, and occasionally one is too small for them or they grab a piece of something that brother or sister dropped. We have to take the dangerous object away. And let me tell you. Nothing makes a baby more upset that getting that fruit snack wrapper pulled from their death grip.
Ha! Another example in the baby realm: Delaney loves our stairs. She also loves the kitchen. So she will make a bee-line in either direction when I release her from my mama smooches. If I’m not fast enough, she will climb the stairs. I’ll find my little chubby cherub at the top of the stairs, so elated and proud of herself. But then I have to take her back down stairs. It must be so deflating. Her plan, her control of the situation is gone.
In both these cases, I’m protecting from harm they have no clue of. Either the timing is wrong (stairs) or I know their judgement is lacking (wrappers). They need me to help even though they don’t know it.
We are like my babies. God really is the Ultimate Parent. He’s watching out for us. He gives us room to roam, but sometimes He must remove the danger from our lives. Sometimes we just aren’t ready for what we have planned. And sometimes, we are ready but scared.
And God is doing all this for our good. He really is on our side. He is not some cosmic force out to get us. He is not a sadistic parent looking to take away any joy. No, He is the joy-giver. He knows what is the very best for us. Any pain we go through has a purpose and any uprooting of our well planted lives has a greater goal.
So make your plans, friend. Ask for God’s guidance in those plans. And don’t be surprised or disappointed if those plans go awry. God’s working a far greater adventure for your life.
Ask me how I know….