An exciting possibility recently surfaced in my life, quite unexpectedly. Immediately I began to play out what might occur, when, and how all the other aspects of my life would be affected by this possibility. In my mind, I began to manipulate everything to work out nicely. Essentially, I began to try to take the reins and to plan out each detail.
Especially for those of us with leadership abilities and tendencies, it can be difficult to give over control of our lives. In fact, it can be difficult even to see when we are seeking control, since it is part of the very fabric of our nature. However, all this planning is in vain. You see, GOD is ultimately in control. Though it’s important to have a direction…It is all “God willing.” No amount of planning or manipulation on our part can accomplish what God has for us.
The good news is, I don’t need to plot out every aspect of my life! I can let go of stress and anxiety as I learn to simply trust.My Creator knew my path and all the beautiful twists and turns it would take before I was even in my mother’s womb! I could never have imagined the beautiful experiences I would have in my life, the connections I would meet that would shape my life, and how so many details would seamlessly meld together at a perfect time. As I look in awe over the numerous miracles in my life, I look forward to seeing how He will do it again!
Isn’t it amazing the miracles that happen….When we let God, be God!
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”~Ephesians 3:20-21
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
There is a saying in the Arabic language that is often said: “Inshallah” (God willing). I like how this saying is so often said, because it places recognition in God’s omnipotence and in the fact that humans only know so much. Sure, we can plan all we want. But ultimately, we don’t know. Our humanity gives us a very limited picture of our own lives and of the world. We don’t know about natural disasters or airline shutdowns that can derail travel plans. We don’t know that we’re going to fall so sick that we can’t get out of bed on the day we have an important presentation. We don’t know that we’re going to unexpectedly meet the person that changes our life and our entire life plans. Or, that we don’t meet the special person we always dreamed of. The list goes on.
I have often gotten caught up in my own plans, determined to follow through with them no matter what.How many of you are the same way?Yet we read the Scripture at the beginning of this post and see: it is all according to God’s will. We are not in control! It’s not about our plans or our timing. I was supposed to attend a historic event today. However, I have been struggling with sickness for the past week. I woke up fatigued. My cough is unpredictable and my voice is barely there. After praying about it, I had the sense that it was a “no.”The plans I had made with others months ago were not going to happen.I was to stay home and rest.
I can’t explain why this is the week I got so sick. However, I do know that this day of rest has been immensely healing to my body. It has also been a great time to reconnect with God. It’s just another lesson in learning to let go of my plans and dreams in order for whatever else my Jesus has in store. It’s all “God willing.”
(Note: I’m not against planning! We need to make plans, to a certain extent. However, our plans are often very different than THE plan the Creator accomplishes! We need not to be so set on our plans that we are closed off to His different plans.)
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”~Habakkuk 2:3
So many times I have attempted to plan the timeline of my life. It is fruitless because life has never happened according to my timeline. I know that my God knows the timing of each detail of my life. Other translations of this verse, instead of saying “it will not delay,” say it “will not be late.” The timing of the Lord is perfect! Many times I’ve been tempted to think I am “late” in certain regards, but that thinking is not according to my Lord. Again, the Father’s timing is rarely, if ever, our timing! Remember that He has plans for your welfare and not for woe (Jeremiah 29:11). It is difficult to trust in the moments when we can’t see. Even though we can’t see one step in front of us, He has a vision. Every detail is working together. And He has given us a vision, too. But we must wait. We must continue to work in His vineyard faithfully, as we await the proper time and the fullness of the revelation. It will not delay-it will not be late.
“Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.”-Matthew 4:18-22
A few months ago, I heard a sermon that really stuck with me. The sermon was based off of the reading above. It brought up an idea I hadn’t thought of before: Jesus as the “Great Interrupter.” Usually we think of an interruption as something negative. Jesus brings another kind of interruption: He asks us to let Love in, and to allow our lives to be radically transformed. He asks us to abandon or re-evaluate our plans and ways of living for something greater.
When James and John set out on a boat that day to start work, they didn’t know that their lives would never be the same again. They had no idea that they would literally drop their nets, their careers, and lives as they knew it, and follow Jesus. What an eventful day that must have been! Mary certainly wasn’t expecting an angel to show up to her family’s abode in Nazareth and announce that she would carry the Son of God in her womb! Think about other stories in the Bible. Jesus never leaves things as they are.
We make plans for our lives. Some of us are determined and don’t want anything to derail us. Are you ready for Jesus, the Great Interrupter? If He asks you to lay down your plans and take a different direction, are you ready? Or are you determined to push away all interruptions, even if your Lord were the one stepping in? Take a moment to reflect. Is He stepping in and asking you to take a different direction?
Jesus: the Great Interrupter. With Him, our lives here and eternally will never be the same!
Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.