Unexpected things happen all the time. You can plan and scheme and organize until you’re blue in the face, but it won’t guarantee that everything you want is going to happen the way you want it to happen. This past Saturday was my book release event at a local coffee shop in downtown Wichita. We’d been planning for months. We had everything worked out, and everything was going to be perfect. We were expecting big crowds and a lot of excitement.
Well, there were big crowds. But they weren’t there for the book release. Unbeknownst to me, the WSU Shockers decided to have a basketball game at the downtown arena at the same time as the book event, and there wasn’t a single place to park anywhere. I had to circle the block four times before I found a place about a mile or two away. It was my event, and I didn’t get there until fifteen minutes after it was supposed to start.
Needless to say, I was somewhat put out (to put it mildly).
But you know what? People still came. I was shocked and touched and humbled. Friends showed up to help with setup. Many made cookies and brought candy. And there were a lot of encouraging hugs and big smiles, and those were worth more than a big crowd to me. And it was a wonderful reminder for me that I have my plans, but God is going to do what He’s going to do in spite of my plans. And even though His way doesn’t seem better to me at the moment, it will be more satisfying in the end.
But he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.
For I have stayed on God’s paths;
I have followed his ways and not turned aside.
I have not departed from his commands,
but have treasured his words more than daily food.
But once he has made his decision, who can change his mind?
Whatever he wants to do, he does.
So he will do to me whatever he has planned.
He controls my destiny.
Maybe Job isn’t the best book to quote from, but you have to admit it’s accurate. Honestly, the only way Job could really understand all the horrible things that were happening in his life was to accept that God is God and He always knows best–even if it doesn’t feel like it. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but we need to be humble enough to grasp it.
I struggle with this. I like making my own decisions. I like being independent. I don’t like having to rely on anyone else for answers or help or guidance or support. I want to make my own way and not owe anyone anything. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Sure, but it’s completely impossible. No one can live that life. We all owe someone something. Isn’t it better to accept that the One you owe the most to is the Lord?
You don’t control your life. Your life is bigger than you are, and the only one strong enough to help you get through it is God. What you can control is how you react to events in your life. You can choose to see everything that’s wrong, or you can choose to believe that God has a plan and will eventually work it out for your benefit.
So where are you today? Are you in the middle of your master scheme that’s going perfectly? Or are you standing in the wreck of your carefully laid plans that have gone awry?
Take a step of faith and decide to trust the Lord. No matter how wrong things may feel like they’ve gone, God is big enough to find the silver lining for you. Just ask Him to help you see it too.