When I began my college career I set out to be an early childhood educator. I actually had a plan. I had a college roommate that was also in education and we would always joke that college was our “Plan B”, our backup plan. “Plan A” was being stay-at- home moms and if that didn't work out we needed something to fall back on. This was what we were doing at college, ensuring that we had a backup plan.
After a series of unplanned events, I had to use my back-up plan. However, this plan did not work so great either because it took me a couple of years to find a job. So I decided to work on a different plan. “The No-Plan, Plan”
For years, I lived on this plan. Doesn't it sound brilliant and well thought out. My plan was “the No-Plan, Plan”. As assuring, I’m sure, as this plan sounds to many people, you are probably left with many questions or thoughts. This kind of plan is impossible and improbable. Everyone has got to make plans. What kind of insecurities does it start to stir in your minds?
The truth was I was going wherever the trade winds were taking me or wherever Friday or Saturday night may have led me. I had no direction, no goals, and no real purposes. I moved 5000 miles away to get a new job. You could say my plan was a bit unsettling and that is exactly how it usually felt. If I was somewhere too long I would get a little stir crazy and began looking for the next best thing. Don’t get me wrong it led me to many great spontaneous adventures that I couldn't have planned so well myself, but what was my purpose, when do I stop looking for something else to fill whatever I was searching for.
Some people have to have a plan. It has to be set out in stone and laid out well in advance of all major life events. No offense ladies, but us girls are notorious for our fairy tale planning. We need to have four children, a husband that is supportive, good looking, successful, loves me and adores my children… and the list goes on… and we need to live in the house with the white picket fence and we need to have this all accomplished by the time we are just at the right age of 25. If possible we would like that gift wrapped in a castle were we can live out our well planned life. Whew! My “No Plan, Plan” is starting to sound better by the minute.
Who could keep up? Don’t get me wrong, goals are good for setting and long as you are not setting them into the stones of your mind. You may be able to accomplish many things but what happens when the plans, or the dreams, or the aspirations keep getting pushed to the wayside year after year. What happens when all is smooth sailing and life rocks your boat or tosses you right out into the sea? What next, where do you turn?
I heard someone on the radio the other day say, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell HIM your plans.”
This reminds me of the story of Jonah. Some of you may know the story of Jonah. God told him to go one direction, to a place he really did not want to go, and he took the first boat in the opposite direction, and tried sailing on his own course. Here was Jonah in the middle of the sea, boat sailing smoothly in Jonah’s direction and God sends a storm. Jonah probably thought he was going to be able to ride this one out but the storm gets so bad and Jonah knows the only answer is for him to exit stage left and he is tossed overboard.
For Jonah, God sends out a rescue plan, a giant fish to swallow him up. Some of you may be thinking this doesn't sound like any kind of rescue but in my opinion this was God’s mercy being poured out on this man.
He let him stay in his discontent for three days until he realized God’s plan was the only plan. When Jonah repented, God had that big fish spit him onto dry land. Jonah decided to obey and go in God’s direction.
Are we allowed to make our own plans? Yes. Are we allowed to live out our own plans? Yes. Just like Jonah, we can try to run in the opposite direction that God has set out for us and the weather may not even look that stormy, but where are we going? What are we doing? Are we satisfied when we get there?
I love this verse. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
What I love about God is He knows. He says I know; I confidently know what I know for you and about you, I know what I have laid out for you. I know where this is going to take you. I know all the details that you are fretting about. I know down to the minute how this will play out. I know how this is going to end. I know. I know He says.
He doesn't assure us this will be an easy road. He doesn't even assure us here that it will be smooth sailing. He takes us to a different place. Whatever His plans are for us, they are for good NOT for disaster, they are to give us a future and a hope. This is so promising. Everyone wants a future full of hope. This is such a relief, of all the plans that I have ever made or not made, He knows and He will take care of me. He will do it for His good purposes and He will do it to give me a future of hope.
Do you trust Him? Do you trust the plans that He has for you? Do you have something really big on your plate right now and you just can’t see the end and you don’t know which way to go? He knows. Do you have something that is minor on your plate but it is felling like the weight of the world in on your shoulders? He knows about that, too. Do you trust Him? Do you trust the plans that he has for you?
I’ll pray for all that you are facing right now. I pray that He uses it to draw you near to Him. Follow Him, Follow HIS plans, they are for your future and for your Hope. Have a great week.
I also ask you to please pray for God’s plans for my life and this ministry as I continue to write. Please see my next post about how I am now working on God’s plans for my life.
The Next post to The No-Plan Plan Part 1 is The God Plan Part 2
If you would like to talk or ask for prayer about God’s plans for your life contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.