On one particularly tiring and hectic morning last week, I sat down to do my quiet time with pretty low expectations for what the Lord could/would reveal to me. I was exhausted, and on top of that I was discouraged. Interestingly enough (I’m sure many can relate) I’ve found it’s usually in these moments that He chooses to reveal the most.
My quick devo that morning, from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, spoke about the perfection of God’s plan and timing. I found myself reading these next sentences over and over again, basking in their truth. “One of the main ways I assert My sovereignty is in the timing of events. If you want to stay close to Me and do things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment. Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal, let me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in my presence.” These are important words, their meaning beautiful. But on that particular morning, they were also convicting ones.
It’s easy to quote Jeremiah 29:11 over and over again, and even easier to simply remind my friends, or campers I’ve gotten to talk to this summer going through hard times, of Jesus’ plan and how awesome it is. And don’t get me wrong – it is awesome. But its important to remember that it doesn’t always feel awesome in the moment. And on that morning, I was reminded that by believing that it will is not only a disservice to myself and to my relationship with and trust in Him, but also to my effectiveness in comforting others with His truth during their trials or struggles.
God’s plan, for my life and for yours, is so intricately beautiful. And surprisingly(???) enough, it does not usually not depend on the variables we make of the upmost importance in our own lives. Instead, God’s hand is moving in ways we might not recognize until we are far beyond our current situation. Even more often, we will never see the ways in which God’s hand has held us up throughout various experiences.
A pattern I fall into all too often, and yes, specifically on the morning I read this devotion, is transposing my plan onto God’s. I think, “What I want is good. I know that God wants this for me!” But even the things I have longed for throughout my life that were seemingly good, I look back now and cannot thank God enough for not giving me those things when I begged Him for them. I’ve learned that part of surrendering my life to Christ involves surrendering my hopes and my desires – even the “good” ones – and replacing mine with His… AND that I will spend my entire life re-learning this over and over again.
Psalm 118 24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Every day, heck every part of every day, is part of the plan God has made for each of our lives. That is worth rejoicing about!
So yeah, days that don’t go according to MY plan aren’t usually my favorite ones. But through God speaking to me so clearly on a day that I wasn’t even genuinely trying to seek His voice, I have been awed by the knowledge that God’s timing doesn’t need my approval. Learning to trust in a plan I can’t see or know is difficult, and I don’t believe it ever won’t be. But trusting in my own plan and resisting God’s timing is so much more so.
I can either trust His timing, and be joyful in waiting to bear the fruits that Christ has promised, or I can be miserable “dashing headlong towards my own goals” and miss out on the beautiful journey God has placed me on — but regardless of my attitude (thank you Jesus!) God is good, and His timing better than I could ever hope or imagine.