Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21
Raging and unstoppable, I am a planner. Constantly entertaining ideas of the next hour, next day, next week, next year (you get it).. I love being ready, and I love being organized. I cannot express just how thankful I am to live in a time that has the technology to keep up with my mad planning abilities via apps, reminders, lists, calendars… and to be able to sync them all to my dear husband’s phone.. what a priceless gift!
Whether you’re a planner that can relate or a person who does everything in their power to avoid plans (and people like me), your heart has desires. They’re there, and we don’t have to call them “plans” if that makes you nervous.. but they’re in there.
Plans are fun and exciting.. at least, most start off that way. It might be weekend plans, vacation plans, plans for school, for a relationship, marriage, children, a career, a business, a home, moving, retirement.. the list is endless, as are the details. Without plans, we’d be in a constant state of winging it, finding ourselves following all sorts of paths and winding up in unexpected places.
As lofty and grand as our planning can be, today I’m writing about the unfulfilled ones — the plans that just haven’t seemed to line up or come along naturally as we’d hoped.
Unwelcome detours, giant roadblocks, or just straight up no-shows.
No matter where we are in our lives, I’ve learned that we’re all waiting on something.. and if we’re honest, some days it just hurts. In this past year alone, I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve talked with who have encountered painful delays or unforeseen interruptions in their plans. Plans for better health, plans for a restored marriage, plans for that long-awaited spouse, plans to have children.
I’ve also come to understand that there is a special onslaught of insecurities attributed to these vacant plans. They run deep and tamper with the heart.. making one not only feel less than, behind, alone, detached, worthless, or somehow even robbed.. but at times, may believe it. These are all genuine emotions a person wrestles with when life doesn’t seem to measure up to our plans.. but it’s also in these times that our hearts are tested and the true nature of our faith is revealed.
When we are tempted to define our worth based on the follow-through or failing of our plans, we’re going to find ourselves in trouble and always lacking.. because at the end of the day, plans are just that: temporary, ever-changing, and completely undeserving of our hope.
When we don’t understand the why’s, when’s, or how’s, we need to seek a perspective much higher and much wiser than our own.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Christian, despite what the world may tell you, your “lack of’s” or “not yet’s” do not change the Lord’s goodness to and for you. Whether our plans work out the way we’d like them to or not, God’s faithfulness never waivers. His promise for those who love Him is that He is working all things together for our good.. allowing and using these difficult seasons of waiting to graciously invite us to trust and depend on Him above all else.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
When I am asked about my plans and why some haven’t shown up, my simple reply is that they’ll come about “when and if the Good Lord sees fit.”
When days are hard, I find the gift of faith to be the sweetest. I truly believe my no-shows have brought me closer to the Lord than if all my plans would have worked out my way and in my time. Every day, every hour, and sometimes just breath by breath, my dependency rests completely in Him. It is Christ who supplies my strength, gives me grace, and renews my faith so that even through the tears, I can still praise Him with my heavy heart.. clinging to the promises of His Word.. knowing fully that no matter how my plans fail, His grace is sufficient for me and that my joy will only ever be complete in Him.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
My plans may look different than yours, but I pray that we may both long for Christ far more than any kind of plan.. purposefully placing our hope, joy, peace, security, and worth in the changeless, timeless, sovereign Lord who arranges, allows, withholds, builds, reveals, works, and tends all things in His infinite wisdom according to His perfect will.. meticulously and graciously establishing His plans for our lives.
May it be our joy to wait on the Lord.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.