by Sara Scheler
My plan = A. God’s plan = Z. Faith = everything in between.
I am not exactly what you would call spontaneous. I plan, prepare and schedule every hour of my day, sometimes down to the last minute. I know exactly what I’m going to wear tomorrow and what I’m going to eat for breakfast (Cheerios with a banana and some milk, in case you’re curious). I may or may not color-coordinate my closet.
This aspect of my personality makes it very difficult for me to trust in God’s plan for my life. Often, my prayers end up sounding like a petulant child:
Are you sure that’s going to work?
I don’t know if I can do that.
I have a better idea…
What’s taking so long?!
However, Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow.”
I am famous for designing elaborate, multi-faceted plans for my life, only to have them dashed to pieces when something goes wrong. Looking back at these instances, however, I realize that it eventually worked out even better than I could have possibly imagined. No, this isn’t a coincidence. It isn’t crazy, random happenstance. It isn’t karma or luck or good fortune (although that fortune cookie did say something about the lucky number 7…), it’s God. It’s funny but Jesus says over and over that He’s got us covered; even better than the lilies and the sparrows. Sometimes, I learn that! I like to call these “God moments.”
After experiencing so many of these awe-inspiring moments, I become frustrated with myself. I know our Lord’s plan is ten thousand times better than anything I could ever invent. So why can’t I trust, wholeheartedly, in His plan for my life? Why can’t I be still and know that He is God? Why is that so hard for me?
Well, it’s sin. It ruins everything. It caused the downfall of the human race many, many years ago and it is still working (and strongly, I might add) in my life and in the lives of every human on the planet. Even though I know that it will turn out splendidly if I simply trust Jesus, my sinful self ruins everything. Doubt creeps in like a disease that infects and destroys. When only moments before, I was all set to go with the Lord’s plan, now I hesitate. I reason with myself and make excuses.
You don’t really know that He’s going to follow through, do you?
He’s taking too long.
It’s time to take matters into your own hands.
If I eventually cave in to my sinful nature and stop trusting God, my situation worsens. Now I am frustrated and tired and confused and afraid. I desperately try to strategize and make my plan work but it never does.
When my human plans fail, as they so often do, Christ doesn’t bail on me. He brings me back from my self-absorbed state and comforts me with forgiveness, gentleness and peace. Rather than punish me for my puny faith or abandon me with the problems I tried so hard to solve, He welcomes me back with open arms. He takes my burdens upon His shoulders and carries my load while I stare in awe at His forgiveness and generosity.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” - Jeremiah 29:11. My Baptism and the Lord’s Supper remind me that whatever my plans are, the Lord’s plans are forgiveness, life and salvation for me. Not only is He a God who promises to prosper and bless His people, He fixes our lives when we mess up. During all the moments of life when our silly plans fail, we find Jesus there, in our midst, fixing what we have broken, and always forgiving us, renewing us and keeping us in Him.
Sara Scheler frequently worries about petty things like the weather and what’s for lunch. Occasionally, she worries about larger things like what she’s going to do after college. Her favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11. She would love to hear from you and can be reached at email@example.com.