September 14, 2011

My Plans and God

James 4:13-17

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Proverbs 27:1


I agree that I “do not know what a day may bring.” The problem is that I don’t often keep this in mind as I go about my day. My schedule is filled with plans and appointments that usually work out pretty much as I intended. If they don’t, I figure I must have put too much in or didn’t leave enough margin for the unexpected. That suggests I am not really able to plan my day as much as I think I can. I just don’t want to admit it.

The words of James and Proverbs call us to think about our limited ability to control our lives. I can plan carefully and even wisely and with the good advice of others, but I am not in command of my life the way I often might think. My life could be over tomorrow—or even today. So could yours.

On the other hand, God knows what tomorrow will bring. In fact, God ordained all of our days before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). That means it’s not enough to listen to wisdom from family and friends. We need to listen to God. We need to pray, and in prayer we can learn to hear what God may say to us.

Wise people reflect on and live by the reality of planning and doing in cooperation with the Lord’s will. They understand Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in a human heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

Lord, I know I don’t control tomorrow, and I want to reflect on that enough to gain a heart of wisdom. Teach me to surrender all my plans to line up with your will. Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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