One of the oft-quoted verses when facing the future are these words from the prophet Jeremiah:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
This morning my daily devotional used this verse as its focus.
God’s plans are not the only ones, however. While God intends our good and to give us a better future, the forces around us may move us in a different direction. Like a ship buffeted by winds and waves, our lives may be pushed off this ideal course. And the longer we drift, the farther off this path of life and blessing we are.
It isn’t that God doesn’t care. Nor that God is unable to do on our behalf. It is that God is not the only player in the drama of human life. The forces I mention above? They have their own agendas. We are surrounded by people who have their own ideas and goals – and their ideas for us may be very different than the ones that God intends.
And then there is the free human agent – the other “I” in my life. Me. I choose. I dream. I hope. I worry. I despair. Even God’s deepest dream hasn’t the power to overcome my free choice to drift or even depart from the divine will.
The question on my mind today? Are God’s plans my plans? Am I willing to let God answer my prayers – or am I waiting for God to do what I want and what I hope? Am I submitting as Jesus did to God’s plan at every turn? Is every choice in submission to the plans God has for me? Am I willing to accept the hope and embrace the future that God intends?