One word that God has placed on my heart lately is SURRENDER. Just a single word, but it’s a tough word for me, because I need to follow it with TRUST. As you know, I deal with anxiety and surrendering things to God is difficult. I like to be in control. I like to know what’s just ahead. I like to know the outcome. I’m definitely a planner, and not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal.
I believe that seeking wise counsel and planning is Biblical. From The Wife of Noble Character we see that, “She evaluates a field and buys it; she plants a vineyard with her earnings…She sees that her profits are good, and her lamp never goes out at night” (Proverbs 31:16, 18 CSB). And Jesus said in Luke, “For which of you wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28 CSB). We can also learn about planning from creation, “Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. Without leader, administrator, or ruler, it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest” (Proverbs 16:6-7 CSB).
I love this verse from The Message translation, “We plan the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able to live it” (Proverbs 16:9). Here’s advice from the book of James, “Instead, you should say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’ ” (James 4:15 CSB).
But what happens when things don’t go as planned? When we miss the goal we set, or when we don’t get the job we interviewed for? What about when we’re blind-sighted by the diagnosis, when the house falls through, when we are forced to move (or stay put) when we wanted the opposite, or when a curveball gets thrown and wrecks everything? This is where trust comes in, and we have to trust God with the outcome. “Many plans are in a person’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail” (Proverbs 19: 21 CSB).
Romans 8:28 is one of my husband’s life verses, “We know that ALL things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (CSB, emphasis mine). Once again, I’ll quote The Message translation, “He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be SO SURE that EVERY DETAIL in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (Romans 8:28, emphasis mine).
When things get out of my perceived control, and I don’t understand the “plan” or know what the outcome will be, I remember, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.’ This is the Lord’s declaration. ‘For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts'” (Isaiah 55:8-9 CSB). God loves us enough to send His son to earth as an infant, to live a perfect life, yet destined to betrayal and a torturous death! He promises us that, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalms 32:8 NIV).
As the door closes on 2019 and a new one opens to 2020, what do you need to surrender so you can have a lighter heart, more peace, and the assurance that God’s ways are higher than yours? Make your plans, goals, and dreams for 2020. Pray about them, surrender them to the Lord and trust in His perfect outcome. And now, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalms 4:8 NIV). Happy New Year everyone!!
P.S. I can’t believe my blog is approaching it’s ONE YEAR anniversary!! Thank you to all who have read my blog and to those who encourage me and support my writing. I promise to blog more consistently in the new year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!