Wednesday, October 13, 2021

4 words

If anyone had to sum up my life in 4 words, they’d either choose the phrase, “She loved the Lord, or “She was a planner.” And while both of those choices would be true, my flesh woman would definitely meet the latter description better than the first.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a planner. Maybe it’s a typical Type A personality trait, but it works for me. I like knowing the plan ahead of time and often, when we’re going on a trip, I spend days making out a detailed itinerary and menu. That way, things usually run smoothly but I’m also okay with spontaneity and find it fun to travel off the beaten path now and then. I’ve found that’s where the best photo ops tend to be and where some of the most precious God moments occur.

Though I find comfort and security in having a well laid plan, I’ve found, over my almost 64 years of life, that no matter how much I try, I don’t always have the whole picture. Sure, I can plan to my heart’s content, but things can always go wrong. Like the time I was spelunking and my headlamp went out leaving me stranded completely in a dark eerily damp cave. That was an quite the experience and one I won’t ever forget. During that time, God taught me a huge lesson in faith.

There’s an old saying, “Man plans, and God laughs.” I imagine He’s gotten a lot of guffaws as He’s observed me making and trying to keep all of my detailed plans. But in life, God doesn’t always give us the entire plan. Usually, He provides one small step at a time.

In the Bible, we find evidence of that many times as He taught people to life by faith. Just look at the prophet Samuel.  “The Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.”  Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do.’ ”  (1 Samuel 16:2,3)

He told the Samuel to go to Bethlehem and do all the things necessary to prepare a sacrifice with Jesse and his sons. That was all. He gave them one thing to do, one step. Then He said, “I’ll show you what to do.” He didn’t give them steps one, two, three, etc. He only gave Samuel one step.  

God takes great delight in the obedience of His children. He expects us to trust Him enough to do exactly what the Holy Spirit guides us to do and to do it at the very moment He prompts us to do it. We are to act without question. Now, that’s not easy for someone like me who likes to know the entire plan, but I’m thankful He’s patient with me as I continue to learn this valuable lesson.

Only Jesus knew the Father’s plans from beginning to end. God understands our human frailty and that’s why I think He only gives us one thing to do at a time then tells us to wait for further instruction. As we are obedient, He’ll provide the next step. If it didn’t work that way, we’d surely make a big mess of things by doing them in our limited knowledge and in our haphazard way.

The Bible tells us that God’s ways are not our ways and that He knows the plans He has for us – plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a future and a hope. He is trustworthy and true.

If I had to compare Him to a battery, I’d have to rename a popular one. I’d have to call Him the EVERLASTING battery, because Everlast or Duracell wouldn’t hold a candle to His amazing, unending power to lead, guide, and direct us through these difficult, dark, uncertain days of life. Aren’t you glad He only entrusts us with one step at a time? Our Heavenly Father always knows best and I’m so glad He loves us enough to know exactly how much we can handle at any given time. 

I love this quote by Corrie Ten Boom, “In darkness God's truth shines most clear.” What a profound truth to cling to in today's evil world!


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