I wrote this out on Sunday after church and then decided to wait on posting it. Not sure why. I do that sometimes. Then I was on the phone with my sister today and I decided to read it to her and she said "post it!" So I am :) 

Are you the type of person that likes to worry about things? 
If you're like me, you won't admit to it very easily. 
I'm just now, in my 30th year of life, understanding more 
bits and pieces of my own personality.
Because I am generally quite laid back and easy going, 
I tend to think I'm like that in all areas, until God kindly shows me I'm not. 
And, He typically chooses to show me those things in church :) 

Today {Sunday} our sermon was excellent. I do say that almost every week, but today was the exception for me, because I felt like it was preached directly for me.  
One of our Pastors, Tim Smith, preached on the topic of 'Plans'. He did one of the neatest things too and took us from Genesis to Revelation {in about 10 minutes} showing us example after example of mans ways/versus God's ways; man's foiled plans turning into the outworking of God's sovereign will.  It was super neat and I'm not sure I'll ever forget it. 
We make plans, we like to set plans, map out our day/week/month/year - some typically love to know what 'the plan' is and often check every couple of minutes, making sure 'the plan' hasn't changed. 

Our son is this way... and sometimes I see it as a blessing for him and sometimes a curse. It can be a blessing, because an organized mind and a general plan set in motion is a good thing. God is a God of order, not chaos. But when we begin to think we're directing and setting the path for all of life's plans... that's when we get ourselves into trouble. 
And today in church it hit me. The way I sin in this area is my lack of remembering that as many plans and ideas I might have and set into motion, God is directing every course my life takes. Every moment I breath is a mercy of God's - not some good karma I've managed to happen upon. And by the way, I think this karma business is a bunch of garbage, just in case anyone thought otherwise :) 
I forget that God has already planned out my life and has much better plans in action that I could ever imagine! So why do I make running to Him sometimes the last thing I do? Why do I forget that worrying, being anxious, discussing issues or ideas with 500 people except God, isn't going to help one bit. I want to purpose to be more prayerful. To be intentional about having those times where I can get away and talk to God. Not mention this or that to Him, or ask for this, or confess that. I want to be very intentional in my relationship with Christ. It really ought to be the one relationship we're most intentional with, don't you think? 
And this isn't to say I don't pray. I do. But they're often scattered, often quick, too much asking, not enough praising or just laying out my goals and asking God to show me how He might use those things for His glory. Even when we desire something good, we need to go to God with it. Give that desire to Him and see how He leads and directs. Don't take that good idea/goal and nag your husband about it. Go to God. Talk with Him about it. 
I forget too often in my prayer life, that God has the plan laid out for me - I'm not supposed to go to Him and lay out my plan for Him to follow. He knows it. He has it covered. 

I remember after 9/11 people were asking "how could a good God allow this to happen? Why wouldn't HE stop this?" 
Because this world is often in a mess and because people do stupid, evil, wicked things, has nothing to do with God's goodness. God is good, apart from our sinful nature. Us doing good doesn't make God better and us doing evil doesn't suddenly make God less good. I'm so thankful that God can take our screwed up plans and turn and bend them into His perfect and glorious plan! Imagine if He just left things a mess. The mess WE created? Imagine if He simply turned and decided to never use even the bad stuff for His glory. Man... not a world I'd like to live in :( 
I also remember thinking how strange it was for people who never pray, some who say they don't even believe in God, and who like to live life like they keep the world spinning on their own, should stop and suddenly blame God for the reason something bad happened. 
Suddenly God is who they run to and God needs to fix the mess we faithless have made. 
Its during times like 9/11 that I am reminded how little control I have. How I am 100% reliant upon God for my every breath. And its a good thing too! I have a hard enough time remembering to start dinner on time, imagine if I had to keep my heart beating! ;-) 

Anyway, the short version of all of this is that I was really convicted to daily {or at least weekly} lay out my plans, even short term, to God. To continually remind myself that its HIS will I desire, not my own. 
Sometimes I convince myself that God is too busy to worry about the money we save for vacation, or the issues we're having with that particular child, or the friendships we'd like to see grow, or the ways we'd like to serve more. I tell myself I personally need to worry harder, plan more, stay up later thinking about it, talk Jason's ear off about each idea, etc ... I'd save myself SO much time and worry if I just followed God's way :) 

So I want to encourage you, my reader,  if God has landed you in a place that you just cannot see what His great plan for you is or will be... remember to go to Him. Ask Him. Tell Him your fears, tell Him what your hopes are goals are. Ask Him to show you how you can glorify Him the most in where you are right now. Not where you want to be. Where you are, right now. I'm guessing some will realize they're not at all where God wants them. That's why its good to go to God and ask these sometimes basic questions. God often shows me "I didn't bring you here. I haven't asked you to do this. Why are you striving when I have so much better for you?!" And then sometimes its a good way for God to show me that the things I've convinced myself I'm doing for Him, I'm really doing to make my 'good' list look longer/better. 

I could've titled this post prayer, but for me, a lot of the reason I don't run to God for things is because I think worrying about it will solve whatever the issues is, much faster. Then I guess I should've titled it 'worrying about the plans - planning about the worry' :) 
And I know we don't all struggle with this. Its why when we fellowship together & pray together we can be so encouraging to one another. Because none of us are going to be in the same exact spot. Try never going around people who God has given to you to show you Christ like love and encouragement and blessing... we'd all live in dark little caves, either thinking we're perfect, or thinking we're the lowest of the low. 

We often find ourselves in a complete mess because we've simply not trusted in God. We think He'll mess things up and we've decided we want to run things, but pretend He is. 
My prayer for myself and for you this new week is that we will faithfully remember each day that we are here on a mission for Christ. Its His mission and He won't mess it up. Lets give those worries and anxieties and even big hopes and dreams over to God and see what He does with them. 

7 {comments}:

Erin said...

Thanks Stef. What you were saying about "how can God let bad things happen to us?!" is something we've been talking about here.
He's not going to turn this into heaven for us! We have to deal with consequences of sin while here on earth, so that we keep looking to Him & longing for heaven!

Jessica said...

Perfect timing!! We're definitely laying out future plans here and working on some decisions even now. And your words are also convicting & encouraging over here too.

You'd think after these years of piling up on God's goodness and how He's taken *such* good good care of us, that I wouldn't worry anymore! If only that were the case!! Definitely still learning.

And I'm like you in that I'm pretty chill about a lot of things in life...but I can't claim that in every area even if I pretend that's so. But it *is* encouraging to see just how much I've grown in this area. I use to worry until the cows came home and had no peace whatsoever until things were decided...which really showed my lack of trust in Him. It's nice to know I'm starting to move in His direction, finally. ;)

i heart your long posts. :)

Gina said...

Such a good post--so true! Made me think of where I am right now and how I've come to accept that school just isn't on the timeline I want--read again--I want. I have come to accept that we are here, but things will work out. God only knows why we're being delayed. Last night I had the thought that maybe we have my mom for a spell for a reason more than just postpartum help--it was a bit sobering. I know God will work this all for good--I just have to be in His plan and be patient for His timing. :-)

Stef said...

I'm so glad this was encouraging to you ladies! The sermon is one that will not leave me for... hopefully ever! :)

Volkov Family said...

Where's the "like" button?
(Guess that shows I am on FB too much.) :)

Stef said...

haha! I wish blogger would do like buttons! I know they have them, but they're not the same. I wish it showed who was liking it :)

Volkov Family said...

Where's the "like" button?
(Guess that shows I am on FB too much.) :)


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