"The next hour, the next moment, is as much beyond our grasp and as much in God's care as that a hundred years away." --George MacDonald
This truth is one that I have struggled with throughout my entire life. I am a planner by nature. I don't *think* I'm a control freak, but maybe someone else should chime in and correct me if I'm wrong. ;-) What I mean by that is that I don't mind not always BEING the planner--I just think SOMEONE should be planning most things. Things like--- If we are driving somewhere, we should have directions beforehand, right? If we want to eat throughout this week, we need a menu and a grocery list first, yes? If we want to eat after we retire, we should budget accordingly now. If we're moving 6 states away, we HAVE to sell our house first. There's just no other way to do it. You know--the basics. And if someone (with skin on) wants to take the reins on these things, I'm happy to sit back and relax. But not until I know everything is under control.
I'm guessing most people would agree with me that there's nothing necessarily wrong with making plans and taking responsibility for our lives and our futures. To a degree. Unfortunately, though, (and much to my disappointment) I realized about 18 months ago that I had fallen into a pattern of trusting human beings with my life and my future a lot more than I trusted God. I drew more security at times from a piece of paper drawn up by a flawed, untrustworthy human than I did from the promises of Holy, God-breathed Scripture. So stupid, yet so easy to do. And I justified it a million different ways.
"Oh, I trust God, but I still think He wants me to be responsible."
"Oh, I know God doesn't NEED my help, but he gave me a mind for a reason, right?"
"It's ok to make plans as long as my plans don't go against scripture."
The list could go on and on. And sure! None of those things are untrue or glaringly wrong at first glance. In fact, I would argue that it IS incredibly important to be responsible with our resources, etc. The problem (at least for me) lied in valuing my plans MORE than I valued God's plans. As long as His plans seemed to follow mine pretty closely, I was happy to "trust Him." But when He started doing things that didn't make sense to me, my initial response was anything but selfless abandon to His mysterious ways. Thank GOD for honoring the faithful prayers of my amazing husband and many of my friends and family at a time when I was so very tempted to run like Jonah in the opposite direction of where I was being sent.
I'm certain I'll continue to struggle with this lesson for the rest of my life. The idea of creating "security" for myself and my family here on earth tempts and teases me every day, even though I know that self-created security is really nothing more than a myth. What is beautifully real, however, is the freedom I have experienced through sweet abandon (especially when it made no sense at all to me). When I get out of my own way and rest in that freedom, it transforms this stubborn soul in remarkable ways that only God could have accomplished. I'm so glad He disciplines and redirects us so gently sometimes.
"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things." --Matthew 6:34 (Oh, how I long to obey that verse every single day of my life. . . . .)