“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 “if God wills.”
(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.)