"For I know the plans for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
I have a confession... I constantly feel like I need to have everything figured out. So you can imagine how stressful my life may be when things don't go according to plan. If you were to ask me today what my plans are before I'm thirty I can rattle off a list of about 20 tasks I want to have accomplished by that time. I'm very goal driven and plan-oriented, and it's often a good thing to have a plan for where you're going in life, but sometimes our plans aren't what God has in store for us. One of the most important lessons that any Christian must learn is that His plans supersede any plans we may have.
If you're like me, you may frequently become disappointed if things don't go the exact way you wanted them to. If something you put everything into isn't successful, you see yourself as a failure. It's a blessing and a curse when you take into account the amount stress that may come as a result. I, myself, have often struggled with understanding the fact that God's plans are greater than mine. I know it, I hear it, I believe it, but accepting that my life isn't always going to go according to my plan is tough. God made each and every one of his children in his imagine and in his likeness; so even before we took our first breath, he knew what he had in store for us. So we have to take a step back and allow God to guide us on the journey to our ultimate success.
Understanding His plan isn't easy, and when you don't necessarily see the end goal it may call your faith into question. I had been reading up lately because I had been having trouble seeing what God's plan for me actually was, and in my studies, I ran across a verse that ultimately gave direction for everything I was having trouble understanding. It says, "A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. " Proverbs 16:9. God allows each and every one of us to be free-willed and to pursue whatever our hearts may desire, but ultimately He will guide us down the path that He sees best for us. Though the vision may be hazy, God knows what his plans are for us and the path we have to endure from start to finish.
The Bible tells us that “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” Ecclesiastes 3:11. So we must be patient and have faith in God’s timing. His timing is perfect, but it is often frustrating when it isn’t doesn’t go exactly as we expected. It’s all a way of God showing us that He has something in store for us that is far greater than we can even imagine. The things we are praying for today are things that we’ll look back on and laugh at because we didn’t even know how much more God actually had for us. Our growing frustration is only a matter of impatience. We have to learn to trust that God has our best interests at heart, and that only He can lead us to the place where we will flourish.
Just knowing that God has a plan for me even greater than the plan I have for myself puts my unsettled heart at ease. We need to understand that when God gives us the undesired “no” it’s more of him telling us “just wait for what I have in store.” He will never give us false hope or lead us in the wrong direction. That’s to say if you feel compelled to follow a certain path by God, do it. It may seem crazy, and it even may seem like the path is in the opposite direction of where you wanted to go, but you have to trust in the Lord.Understanding God's plan requires effort and in doing so we must remember that he will do everything in the time he sees bests fit! We need to grow and work on ourselves and our relationships with the Lord in the time that we're waiting because the Lord says in scripture, "When the time is right, I, the Lord, will make it happen" Isaiah 60:22.