“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord established his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9
“What are you most excited to do one day?”
“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
“What’s your life plan?”
These are just a few of the many questions we all have been asked. As humans, we naturally want to control our lives and “plan” what we want each season of our lives to look like. Often, our plans fall subject to change, failure, seasons of waiting, and ultimately, seasons of “unknown.”
I’m currently writing away from the lobby of an auto mechanic shop in the middle of nowhere, North Carolina. My husband is a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and we are currently moving our lives and everything we’ve known from the foothills of North Georgia to the flatlands of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. We have no idea what this next season will look like. We have no clue of where we will live, what my husband’s new job will look like, what my new NC life will look like, or what these next few years will hold. On top of all the current pile of unknown, our car is having issues, so we are chilling at the mechanics with no way to drive around to look for a house and to prepare for our future here. I have to laugh, because I am being thrown into “army wife life” whether I like it or not. If you had told me back in high school that my “ten year plan” would look like this, I would have laughed and would have been completely surprised because “this” would not have matched my “ideal life plan.”
“What is happening in our lives may be surprising to us, but it is not surprising to God. Just as Jesus knew what was coming to Him, so God has known for eternity what is coming to us and what we will need to endure it. Let us trust in Him this day to strengthen us and to equip us for all that is ahead of us.” -R.C. Sproul
When our life does not go as we so hoped, it is in our sinful flesh to panic and grip harder onto the “life plan” that we hold so dear to our hearts. It is easy to become bitter and angry when those plans do not pan out. As much as it is human and natural for me to want to cry and be fully overwhelmed by all the change, seasons of waiting, and seasons of unknown that we are in, I have to remember and rest in the fact that all seasons under the sun are faithfully held by the sovereign hand of God, and He will never lead me into a season He hasn’t equipped me for yet.
I think there are two ways to rest in the sovereignty of God in seasons of change, failure, waiting, or unknown…
The Lord faithfully orchestrates our lives in accordance to His own timing and purpose. Our life is not ours and He is gracious to allow us life, salvation, and freedom in Him and through Him. He owes us nothing and we deserve nothing. We must humble our hearts and minds to remember that we are nothing without Him. It is a privilege to do anything for the King, no matter the season. In humility and with this perspective in mind, any inkling of anger, bitterness, and fear about our seasons of unknown will melt away.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” -Matthew 10:29-31
Okay…how incredible is this? The God of everything values each and every sparrow He has created, of course He would care for me who is (unlike the many sparrows) fully created in His image and for His glory. To trust is to “have firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” To surrender is to “let go.” Surrendering your fears and anxieties without the element of simultaneously trusting will never work. God calls us to not only trust Him when things are all joyous mountaintops, but He most importantly calls us to trust Him in the lowest valleys when seasons are frightening, blurry, and hard to understand. As we fully trust in the sovereign hand of God, we can truly surrender all our thoughts, anxieties, pressures, and fears to Him, knowing He can handle our burdens.
“To think today, when your life doesn’t work as planned, that it’s out of control is to forget that Jesus reigns for your sake and His glory.” -Paul David Tripp
I serve a God that allows forks in the road and seasons of failure, change, unknown, and waiting for His glory and our good. He’s purposeful in all He does and He calls us to trust Him in every season. My prayer for my life and yours is that we will seek the Lord’s plan and will for our lives over our own “ideal plan.” And even when our plans and futures do not pan out as we had hoped, may we melt away any thoughts of anger and bitterness by surrendering our “fears of the unknown” with humble hearts that fully trust in the hope of God’s sovereign, caring hand.
Praise God for His faithfulness, for He plans my steps.