“A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?” — Proverbs 20:24 (NIV).
For nine months, I argued with God. I didn’t want to move from the area where I’d lived for 35 years.
I’d taught school there for 30 years. Planning my retirement, I wanted to write newspaper and magazine feature stories for local, state and national publications. I’d also planned to grow my professional photography business of 20 years. Substitute teaching was also on my to-do list.
A broken relationship a month before retirement left me questioning my future plans. When God revealed He had a better plan for my life, I sold my house and moved almost 75 miles to a community where I knew very few people. God had a better plan for me.
As an idealist, I often daydream about the perfect day and life without interruptions. However, that’s not reality. We can’t plan for life’s intrusions. We can’t control what others do. We can’t choose the things popping up to delay our plans.
If you’ve ever had a day when nothing goes as planned, you can relate. Sometimes, it’s a minor upset that cause the greatest problems. It’s easy to get angry, to feel as if the world is against you or to give up.
When I was younger, I had a daily and weekly to-do list. My self-worth was tied to checking off each item of my plan. When life interrupted, I wasn’t too happy. My attitude reeked of self-importance. I thought I had to prove, through my accomplishments, that I was a worthy human. Then, Jesus got ahold of me—and I’m so glad He did.
Now, when nothing goes as planned, I don’t panic. I don’t get upset by the delays, and I don’t worry about the things on my list left undone until later. As a reformed control freak and people pleaser, I’ve learned to patiently wait on God, trusting He has a better plan for my life.
What does the Bible say about planning?
· Proverbs 16:9 says “We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.”
· Proverbs 19:21 reads, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
· Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Our human nature wants to trust in our own capabilities. As one who wanted to always please others, I needed to prove myself. Since I’ve let go of the “need to please,” I’ve also learned to trust God more. However, sometimes, I need reminders.
Reading scripture is a good reminder for us. Even when our plans don’t go as expected, we can rely on His Word and know He still has a plan for our lives. God will never fail us. He promises to guide our steps.
Have you surrendered your plans to the One who knows what is best for you?
Carol Round is a transplanted Okie, originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, who now resides in Grove. In addition to writing a weekly faith-based column, “A Matter of Faith,” Round spends time with her grandchildren, shooting photos, hiking, working in her yard, reading and studying the Word, volunteering at her church and going on mission trips. For more information, or to contact Round, persons interested may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.