If you are anything like me, you are a dedicated planner. As a mom, I find that life just seems to go smoother when I anticipate needs and prepare accordingly. The world tells us to plan for anything and everything. You can purchase health insurance, car insurance, even travel insurance. We hire financial planners, open Roth IRA’s, contribute to our 401K’s, and are sure to have a will drawn up by our attorney. I am usually the mommy with the biggest bag overflowing with anything and everything my little guys might need in the two hours we bravely venture from the house. Of course, there is really nothing wrong with planning. Or is there? This is a question I have been pondering lately and I think the answer has a lot to do with where we ultimately put our hope. Do you have anxiety about the future? Do you feel as though you must plan everything just perfectly or it will all fall apart? God offers us so much more freedom than that!
How much we fret about our future has a lot to do with just how big we see ourselves. At the root of my desire to be in control is a deep seeded pride problem. I far too often take God out of the equation, like it is somehow up to me to make everyone healthy, happy, and on track in my little world. The simple truth is that it reeks of arrogance. Our persistent anxious worry also has a lot to do with how big we see God. Do I really trust God to do what is best for me? Do I trust that He really does KNOW best? Far too often, I believe those things in my head, but fail to live it out. I know a lot about God in my head, but when I am not daily walking in the Spirit by diving in to His Word and communing through prayer; I fail to apply those beliefs to my attitude in daily living.
This is a lesson I have had to learn over and over again throughout my life, but especially since the birth of my first son. Gavin has multiple disabilities and his journey to live, develop, and thrive has been the scariest and most difficult thing I have ever faced in my life. Trusting in God’s ultimate control and His character has brought me through this with stronger faith than I ever had before, but here is where I sometimes trip up yet again. I get greedy. I like to know the WHOLE plan. Give me the complete blueprint, so that I can make sense of it all. All you Type A’s know what I’m talking about! Let me know it all, so that I can be prepared! Do you see the evil one trying to twist things all around again? Thank you God for being patient with me!!
The Lord says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
We cannot fathom the why and the how of His plan for us. They are far too high for us to imagine. He has promised us that His love is deep (Ephesians 3:18) and that He delights in us (Zeph. 3:17). Corrie Ten Boom has said, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” We have to trust in His timing even when it comes to revealing His plans to us. Psalm 104:27 says that even the creatures of the earth look to God to give them their food at the proper time. That has me thinking about when the Israelites needed food in the desert, the Lord sent them manna every day (Exodus 16). They were to gather just what they needed for that very day (the only exception being the day before the Sabbath). He gives us exactly what we need right when we need it. We all know the verse from Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Have you ever thought about the imagery? Take a moment with me. Close your eyes and picture “a light for my feet” and “a light on my path.” In your mind’s eye, does the light illuminate the entire journey or just the next few steps in front of you? What if God is just waiting for us to be satisfied with our manna and simply trust Him for tomorrow’s food?
When Jesus was telling us how to pray, He gave us an example in Matthew 6. He starts with praise and the exalting of God’s will, but then He says in verse 11, “Give us today our daily bread.” Notice that He said, “daily bread.” He does not ask for storehouses filled to the brim. Jesus taught us to ask God for what we need and to trust in His ultimate Sovereignty. I want to pray more like Jesus! I want my prayers to look less like, “God, please help me understand!” and more like, “Lord, I praise you because YOU know the plan and YOU guard my purpose. Your purposes cannot be thwarted, so I trust in You alone!”
Let us help each other plan with kingdom purpose fueled by faith and devoid of worry. Let us do it wisely, not anxiously. Let us not lean on our own understanding, but seek Him and His kingdom in all we do (Proverbs 3:5-6). Planning is not the enemy. Pride and a lack of trust are what can rob us of so much peace that He is waiting to impart to us. Let us realize that our daily bread is a deep relationship with Jesus Christ, and when we taste it, we will see that it is good (Psalm 34:8).
*If you are also a mom of a Special Needs child and want to connect with others, come join a small group made just for you called Entrusted. You can contact me, Jennifer White, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.