Sometimes I think that I have it all figured out. Certain things aren't coming together the way I would like. Something else happens unexpectedly. I have questions about a different thing. Then, suddenly it all seems so clear. It 's like playing chess, thinking many moves ahead - knowing that you are going to win in seven moves. The outcome is inevitable. All you have to do is play the moves out.
"Ok God," I say. "I see where this is all going. I'm not sure that I would have done it this way - I really wanted that one thing to happen and I thought it was for your glory - but I understand what is going on. I may have chosen something different, but that doesn't matter. I know what the next steps will be now. I know how this is going to turn out. I understand what is coming and how it is all going to fit together. I'm good - you can focus on someone else now. I'll see you when I get there."
Then, wham! In a few hours, or a day, everything changes. Suddenly the next steps aren't obvious. Things that were off are back on again. The path that I thought I was on suddenly changes. It isn't so clear anymore. I'm back to not knowing what is coming and not understanding how this all fits together.
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
The plan was mine. Me thinking about how it would come out. Me trying to draw a straight line through a bunch of data points. Me confusing my own view for God's plan. How foolish of me to think that I've got it all under control. It is God who has it all under control. I don't know what the plan is.
Thankfully, though, I do know that the promise that the Lord made to those who were in exile in Babylon applies to me, too. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) Or, from The Message, "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)
Part of the chorus from the song "Here I Am" by Downhere keeps running through my head:
"Somehow my story, is part of Your plan,
Here I am."