I was reading in the book of James recently and was struck by how God can interrupt and change our plans. James 4:13-15 says:
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this that." (NIV)It is an interesting few verses to read. In light of some recent occurrences in my life, some challenging verses to read as well.
At first glance, it could appear that James is telling his readers not to really make any plans for the future, because you cannot know what will happen. What James is actually saying is the plans we make should be held onto loosely so God can come in and rearrange them at any time. We do need to make plans. That is the way we live life on this earth. But, our plans should not be so set in stone that we miss God coming in and trying to change them.
This definitely rang true for me in the last few weeks. At the end of May I moved out of the apartment I had shared with friends for the last three and a half years. I thought I had a place arranged to move into and found out at the last minute that I did not, so I moved back in with my parents. When that became my option, it was not my plan. But, now that I have been here for a week and a half, I can see that it was God's. As much as I never thought I would want to move back to my parents' there is something comforting and relaxing about being "home" for a time. And that is something that I need right now, after a very busy May.
I can also see where I allowed God to interrupt my plans in the past too and rearrange them to be His. One of those other times came towards the end of my second year of college, when God had in mind to send me to the prairies for two years at Bible college. In many ways it would have been easier to just stay where I was, but God had things in store for me at Bible college and I needed to go there for that.
Of course, there are also times in my life (more than I wish to count) where I have been stubbornly committed to doing something my way, no matter what God wanted.
What about you? What plans in your life have you held onto so tightly God could not come in and rearrange them? Where have you allowed God to come in and rearrange your plans? Are you currently holding onto plans tightly? Or are you holding onto them loosely - knowing where you think you should be going, but open to allowing God to change them?