Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (HCSB)
Isaiah 55:8-9 – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration.“For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.(HCSB)
My husband and I are celebrating our thirty-ninth wedding anniversary. As we had planned a wedding, we had planned our married life. I was in college when we married but was going to graduate, teach for three years, then be a stay-at-home mom to our three children. My husband had taken a leave from college and was working when we were married but was going back to college, become an accountant, and climb the corporate ladder. We were going to build our dream house in our hometown and live happily ever after. I did graduate, and my husband did become an accountant, but the corporate ladder turned out to be a step-stool because God had another call for my husband – to the ministry. We left our hometown, and my plans, that I thought were so grounded, suddenly flew away! My three years of teaching became twenty-seven. Because of health issues, we only had one child (but he has blessed us more than any three ever could). My time of staying at home came after our son had a home of his own. The hometown dream house has become a beach dream house but is still a dream. Our plans have had ups and downs, turns and twists, but we were right about the “happily ever after”! My grandmother used to say that God laughs when we make plans, and He must have had a hardy chuckle at the two of us! As I look back over the last thirty-nine years, I am so thankful that my plans flew away and were replaced with Your plans, Lord. Your ways are so much better than mine. Thank You for the change of plans!!
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Proverbs 19:21: You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.
(New Living Translation)
I am sitting here this morning with my coffee and a pen and paper. I’m making a list! I love a list. Sometimes I will have more than one list going at the same time. I have a grocery list, a packing list for vacation, and a list of what I need to do before we go on vacation. I love the control I feel by knowing what needs to be done now and what needs to be done next. I especially love checking things off my list. It makes me feel as if I’m accomplished great things, and there are days that I need to know I’ve at least accomplished something, even a small thing would be good! Sometimes I will put something on my list that I have already done just so I can check it off! Lists make me feel accomplished. Lists make me feel in control. Lists let me know that I’m doing things right. The Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-27) also loved lists. He loved to have a list, and he loved to show people how he had checked off the things on the list. He said that he had kept all the commandments, and I believe him because You didn’t call him on it. He probably had the list in his pocket ready to show everyone how many items he had checked. Lord, You were trying to show him that obedience to the commandments would not give him eternal life, that only comes through a personal relationship with You. And a personal relationship with You means spending time with You. You try to show me that too. A list makes me feel in control of the situation, but You are in control of all that was, that is, and that is to come. I like knowing what’s happening now and what will be happening in the future, but Lord, You tell me that worry (or planning or even making a detailed list ) won’t add a single day to my life. I have the opportunity to accomplish great things today – not by working at worldly things that I can check off of a list but by sitting at the feet of the One who created all things and listening to His plans for my day. Your word tells me in Jeremiah 29 that You know the plans You have for me. In Proverbs 19, You tell me that I can make plans, but Your will prevails. Lord, I know that following a plan isn’t a bad thing but listening to You and following Your plan is so much better.