What kind of plans do you have for 2018? We fill our calendars up and live in a culture that is always on the go. We go from one scheduled event to another. I hope in 2018 to be a better planner! I’m off to a good start using my calendar on my cell phone, I’ve already scheduled something for next December!
Solomon had something to say about our plans: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”Proverbs 16:9 NLT
Yesterday as I was composing this blog my plans were ubruptly changed as I was putting the finishing touches on a couple hours worth of work and the site crashed, losing all my work! My point here is that we do make our plans, but things happen that we didn’t plan on. What then?
God has His plans for us, He wants what is only for our good. We often like to claim Jeremiah 29:11 which says:“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” The thing is from our perspective we view the things that happen through the lense of our own limitnend human understanding. Can we trust a God who allows tragedy and things we view as horrific? Is He all powerful? What are we supposed to do when things happen that we didn’t plan on?
God sees things from an eternal perspective, what is for our good is not just for the here and now but also for eternity. Let me put it this way. As a parent – especially of a teenager, I can see consequences to my sons decisions that he just can’t quite get. There is a scientific explanation to this, here’s what the health encyclopedia at the University of Rochester Medical Center has to say about the teenage brain: 2018URMC
It doesn’t matter how smart teens are or how well they scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something they can excel in, at least not yet.
The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.
In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.
In teen’s brains, the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing—and not necessarily at the same rate. That’s why when teens experience overwhelming emotional input, they can’t explain later what they were thinking.
So when it comes to my sons food choices or putting off a job till tomorrow, he’s just not seeing it as his wiser and older parents who’ve been around the block a few times! Although, as a side note, he’s learning that what he puts into his body greatly affects how he feels and is improving in this area as he is getting his own life’s experiences! This is only but a small comparison of why God’s perspective of what’s planned for our good and what we think is for our good is so vastly different! The very same God who holds galaxies in place and planned our body’s innermost parts, right down to the DNA, has an all knowing perspective that we just can’t grasp!
I’d like to share a personal experience that has showed me that God really does care and that He plans things in our lives unbeknownst to us! Last June I was told by my cardiologist that I have (what I call) a leaky heart valve. When I received the news I was concerned, but didnt think too much about it. We were leaving for vacation and who wants a ruined vacation thinking about medical stuff? After we returned home and I was doing some yard work, my mind went there. I began to worry. A brief medical history, 3 years ago it was discovered that I have an aortic aneurysm coming up out of my heart. So that, coupled with the leaky heart valve thing, led me to fear. I began thinking, “I’m a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.” I came into the house and cried then I dropped to my knees and cried out to God. I asked God to heal me but then I said, “God, if you choose not to heal me, pleases give me something, I don’t even know what, please just give me something!”
The very next day was Sunday and I was scheduled to work in Children’s Church with my friend Karen Ollis. As we were talking before the kids came back we were discussing her sons up coming surgery on an aortic aneurysm and a leaky heart valve. She even called me later that day, to allow me time to vent my anxieties. She was able to offer comfort as only someone whose received comfort by going through the same thing. ”He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT
Monday, the very next day, I’d made plans to meet with a lady who wanted to meet with me to talk and for prayer. As we finished up, I began to share my own personal concerns about my medical condition. Come to find out she too, had surgery on an aortic aneurysm and a leaky heart valve! I did not seek or try to manipulate any situation to meet with these two ladies, two days in a row! I knew in my heart, that God heard me, answered my cry for something and that He’d already had this stuff planned!
So yes, we can make our plans, but God is orchestrating stuff we can’t even begin to grasp! I can speak from personal experience that He does use the hardest things in our lives to grow us and these things are for our good. If I’d not dealt with the grief of losing my mom when I was a young mother myself and still calling home for motherly advice etc. I would not have leaned into God for daily help and hope. The same goes for my medical condition! God knows what He’s doing. He’s got plans this year for all of us! Not every plan is BIG and life altering, I do pray we will have open eyes and ears to know when God is working out His plans in our lives.
Simply and honestly thanks for taking time to read my blog! I hope you have an amazing 2018!