We plan what we’re going to eat for dinner tonight. We plan what we’re going to wear tomorrow. We plan on what we’re doing this summer. We plan on the job we’re supposed to land after college, just because we get a piece of paper saying we’re now eligible.
What if we stopped planning? What if we just stopped altogether? What if God is telling us that planning is out of style? I was confused the first time I heard this. I thought to myself: okay well if I plan literally nothing, then I guess I’ll be stuck alone in my room until someone drags me out and makes a plan for me. However, that’s not what God is saying when He tells us not to plan.
I’ve realized that yes, as human beings, we are supposed to plan. Our lives would be a jumbled mess if we didn’t plan. What we are supposed to do is listen. We’re supposed to listen to our plan, and we’re supposed to follow it.
I’ve struggled my whole life with trying to hear from God. It’s more than just praying to hear an audible voice, and it’s more than just waiting around to make a decision once we feel Him yelling at us. That voice you hear in the back of your head ever so often, not the one you can shut up, I’m talking the one that you can’t hear over. Most likely, that’s the Holy Spirit trying to communicate with you.
My whole entire life, I’ve had a plan. They were never short-term plans, considering I could never decide what to wear to school until about 15 minutes before the bell rang. My plan was this: go to a school as far away as possible, get a job in New York City and live my twenties messing around until I was “thirty, flirty, and thriving” (you know exactly what movie I’m quoting). Hopefully, I’d find the guy of my dreams and spend thousands over what I should for my wedding. I would then have three kids and live by the beach, happily ever after.
But, what if? What if that’s not my plan? There’s this saying I’ve heard before, and I’m finally seeing its relevance- we plan, God laughs.
He doesn’t laugh at us, I mean obviously. I picture him up there looking down on me, just chuckling and thinking to himself, “Oh, Annie you’re funny. That’s not at all what I have in store for you.” And that thought alone, is truly comforting.
Here’s the real story: I visited seven schools in California, and I knew that was where I wanted to go. Long story short, I ended up in Alabama. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that’s where the Lord was to place me.
Most people know the verse Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Have you ever really cut that one open? Allow me…
God already knows the plans He has for us; He’s known them since before we were born. He plans on helping us prosper and grow. And the only way we’re able to prosper and grow is when this world harms us. So He then gives us hope for our future. He never says He’ll give us things to hope for in the world (even though He does provide worldly things for us), but I look at it as Him saying He gives us hope for our life after this one.
The next time you think about planning too far ahead, take a step back. I mean, don’t get me wrong, definitely plan out your day, your weekend, your vacation, your hopes and dreams, just not your future. Because newsflash - that’s not your job.
Your job is to wait. Your job is to listen. Your job is to grow. But most of all, your job is to not turn away. Believe it or not, that plan I made when I was twelve years old, may not actually be the one for me. It sure has ended up different so far. So in the mean time, I’ll wait, I’ll listen, and I won’t turn away.
After all, what good are we doing for ourselves if we’re not doing what He has planned for us?
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9
Annie // @anniemilbourn