Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)
My refrigerator is an art gallery flaunting my daughter’s artwork to anyone in pursuit of a snack. With determination in her furrowed brow, she spends hours each day creating new masterpieces for the gallery. One day, after a particularly lengthy coloring session, she completed her latest work. Triumphantly setting down the last crayon, she held up her picture and beamed with pride. “Look, Mom, I drew all my friends!”
At first glance, the page was a jumble of red scribbles with no distinction between them. I chuckled, seeing no connection between her red crayon doodles and a group of friends. But as she traced her finger over each friend and explained what she had drawn, I knew the “scribbles” had been carefully planned and meticulously executed. There was sense within the chaos of red on the page.
Does your life ever seem like one giant scribble? The more we attempt to plan the details, the more jumbled up they become. We moms often spend a great deal of time planning things we can’t control. The meticulously packed diaper bag is always attached at the hip until it’s really needed. Then it’s nowhere to be found. The much-anticipated vacation is called off due to an unforeseen illness. Even the plans we make for our children’s futures have no guarantees. Most likely, our children will not choose the colleges or spouses of our choice.
God reminds us in Proverbs 19:21 that no matter how hard we plan and prepare, God’s will is always done. Our best-laid plans are often thrown by the wayside to make room for the plans God has made for us. Yet it is difficult for proud, arrogant sinners to yield to God’s will and accept the changes (often blessings) it brings to our lives. Instead we get angry and question God: Lord, why does my child have to be sick now? Why can’t we have just a little more money? How could you let me lose my job like that?
Sometimes God’s plans for us look like giant scribbles. Things go wrong and are out of our control. We can’t seem to make sense of anything. But how amazing it is to know that all things truly are under control! We have the almighty God holding the plan for our lives in his hands. This plan has been carefully formulated and will be meticulously executed by a loving God who seeks only to work out all things for good. The details won’t always make sense to our feeble minds, but God truly knows what we need and does what is best. Paul expressed God’s promise to us:
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
In spite of the apparent chaos that exists around us, we have the God of order working things out for our good! That is true for our children as well. Although their actions may often disappoint us, God and his Word are at work, molding and shaping their young lives. Although we cannot comprehend God’s divine wisdom and power, we do know that the obstacles we encounter serve to draw us closer to him. So when our plans fall apart before our eyes, we yield our sinful minds and submit to God’s will. We rejoice that each earthly scribble brings us one step closer to the beautiful masterpiece we will inherit through faith in Jesus: eternal life in heaven.
Prayer: Dear Lord, although my life may not be going according to my plan right now, I know it is going according to yours. Comfort me with that fact daily. As I fail and my plans seem to blow up in my face, remind me that you are working out all things for my eternal good. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Strength from God’s Word: Read Matthew 26:36-44. What words of Jesus can you incorporate into your own prayer life? In the reading, how did God use something painful to bring about abundant blessing?