“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21 ESV)
Guilty… I have a knack for getting roped into ridiculous drama and plots on TV shows like “Revenge”, “The Vampire Diaries”, and too many others. And thanks to Netflix, lately it’s been season 5 of “Pretty Little Liars”, which I have been binge-watching to catch up. (Too much information about my insanely interesting personal life ;)) These shows all have similar, recurring themes of lies and tangled webs the characters weave while trying to stay in control of the game, but they just dig deeper and deeper graves for themselves as they attempt to control the situation in their own ways.
How many times do we do that in our lives?
Maybe not in such drastic and dramatic ways as our favorite TV shows, but how many times do we decide we know better than God – or, better yet, we don’t need God! – in whatever situation we are facing? Whether we do this on purpose or just by human nature, in our finite and mere mortal understanding, we see the outcome we want or the plans we intently lay out, and go dashing ahead into them without seeking God first…or without realizing that He’s in control, no matter what.
I find that, in my own life, when I get ahead of God with my plans, they fail every time. When I think I’m in control of the situation, and don’t seek Him for wisdom or guidance, and get arrogant in my false reliance on self-sufficiency, that’s when He gently reminds me that I am not actually in charge. That I don’t actually know what is best for myself. That if I continue to follow this rabbit trail, it might just lead to the exact opposite of what I assume is good for me.
And that is so revealing of His boundless grace and severe mercy in my life! God loves you and I enough to step into our every day lives and remind us that we don’t have to try to take matters into our hands, because His hands are already holding us. We don’t have to fear or plot or scheme…we don’t need to rely on ourselves to make things right…because we serve a God who knows it all, from beginning to end, and will guide us – if we’ll trust Him. But it takes a willingness to release our grip on our self-reliance and our desperate attempts to conquer the giants in our own strength. It takes surrender and submission.
You may not see it now, or tomorrow, or even 10 years from now…but God’s way is the best way. He gives the absolute best to those who leave the outcome with Him! And honestly, I’d rather put my trust in that promise than in anything I think I might be able to do on my own.