I have wrestled with not knowing God’s plan for my life for what seems a long time; I have spent days reading the bible and blog posts about discovering his plan which tell you to trust and pray as he guides your steps. And I know I am not alone in doing this because I know that like many I like to live life with an end goal is so that I can plan my next steps and know what I am doing the rest of today, tomorrow, this week, this month, this year.
But in truth it isn’t so much about the goal and the plan to achieve it but it is about being in control and in particular it is about ME, I want to be in control, knowing what I will do next in order to achieve that goal. The irony of this is that from my own experiences having a plan and being in control is an illusion because pretty much every time I have a plan for how a day will play out it rarely does. Things don’t go as smoothly as I want, someone will interrupt and need me to do something for them, and the internet will go slow and so on. And that is why control is an illusion because in essence if everyone is trying to control the way their day goes we will always end up at odds with each other as individual plans clash.
Now in my experience God has never revealed his plan for my life to me or at least not to the extent that he has shown me a vision of where I will be in a year’s time, although I should say that may be he has and I have just missed it. The thing is that when you think about it we should be grateful that God doesn’t give us a detailed plan for our lives as whilst we will see the triumphs in those plans we are also likely to see tribulations, the areas where we will be stretched to do things we wouldn’t imagine ever doing and maybe facing some incredible hardships in order to grow us. Just think about this: say at the age of 20 God gave you your plan for life and you see that at the age of 25 you will be homeless, I am sure most of us would think: stop the bus I want to get off.
On top of that many of us have by nature a desire to get things done, to get the end results as quick as possible. When I was at school I loved maths and I would regularly be several pages ahead of the rest of the class because at home I would be pushing forwards to complete the book ahead of schedule. It wasn’t because I wanted to be smart or suck up to the teacher but I wanted to get it done so I could jump to the next step. But if we knew God’s plan for our lives and started trying to get ahead we would likely get ahead of God’s timing for our lives and God’s timing is not just about us, it is about the bigger picture.
It isn’t that we would just try and get ahead of God’s plan we also want to take shortcuts to get to the end goal quicker. I know there are times when I have wanted to lose weight and so I have dieted heavily and worked out hard just to get the weight off as quick as possible. And yes that weight ended up going straight back on again because I tried to cut corners and rather than do it in a balanced way I tried to take short cuts to get to the end result quicker. It is the same with Bible study; sometimes we will read the Bible and feed off of how it spoke to someone else so that we can say we have an understanding of the Bible rather than thinking about how it is speaking to us. But by taking these short cuts we can miss out on the blessings of the journey, the lessons learned in being patient and relying on God’s timing.
As such it might be frustrating but we need to trust in God’s plan even when we don’t know it, we need to trust in his timing and not get impatient when we want our situations to improve or for what we desire to happen. It doesn’t mean we can’t have desires for how we would like our life to play out but we should trust that what ever God has going on in our lives is going to work out for not just our benefit but also others. And trust me, whilst I battle that control freak side of me, which just needs to know, I also rejoice in not knowing God’s plan for me as I would probably do a Jonah and run in the other direction if that plan had some big stretches and struggles in it, and I really don’t fancy spending time inside a smelly whale.