I usually assume one thing here on the blog, and one thing only. I assume, for the sake of my ability to plan, that you’re at least interested in hearing what God has to say and what He’s doing in your life and in the world around you. That’s how a life of faith works.
Except, if we’re going to be honest, there are times we open up the Bible and we read “Do not do this thing…” and we think– but I really like to do that thing. I don’t want to give it up.
And sometimes the exact opposite happens, and we read, “Do this thing,” and we cover our heads with a pillow and pretend God was speaking to a specific Hebrew or Roman citizen many thousands of years ago, and certainly not us. Not us, oh Lord.
Sometimes we’re not reading. Instead we’re praying, or thinking, or minding our own puny little business and KABOOM God intervenes. There are times when He comes to us in a quiet, gentle voice and then there are times He stops us in our tracks and there’s just no ignoring the new life plan.
Sometimes we have a choice in the new life plan. Sometimes we do not. We might get to give an opinion and work out the timeline, or we might be caught with no way out.
And we might be tempted to get really cranky about it because we don’t like what God is saying. “This is not the plan, Lord. I have a plan, and this is not it.”
This reminds me of a funny string of stories of when my kids were toddlers, and I (the mother) had a plan and they (the bossy-pants children) thought their plan was better than my plan. This happened at the following times: breakfast, lunch, dinner, bath time, bedtime, getting dressed time, sleeping, wakefulness, and also deep comas. (Me. I was in a coma from all the wrangling of small, obstinate children.)
They were children. They knew nothing. They had no experience, and they were certain to run the wheels off the bus if I left them in charge. So I communicated the plan, the real plan, to them. They howled in disagreement but that didn’t stop me from making sure things kept running smoothly.
I tell you this story because I’m struggling right now with God’s plan, and it’s not even His plan for my life! We have some friends who have just had life rearranged for them (it’s a good story, I hope they’ll let me interview them on the blog here in the next few weeks when this is all becomes sort of funny) and I’m just not exactly sure God has the best plan in mind.
It’s certainly not the option I would have chosen for them.
But my crankiness and worry and defiance certainly aren’t going to help them work out the next step with God. I know from experience that one thing needs to happen: humble submission to a plan that is much bigger than I can imagine.
But it hurts to give up control. And it’s scary. And I don’t much enjoy the process.
Luckily God seems to be okay with children who are willing to work on their attitude one day at a time. One deep, trusting breath at a time. Lord, give me one more breath to try again.