“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Life is all about planning. In fact, most of our “right now” is spent preparing for the future. We go to school to earn an education, to be prepared and equipped for a future career so that we can provide for our future family; none of which is guaranteed. Whether we are in school, currently working and saving money or in the midst of our careers, we all have something we are working towards, anticipating and planning for.
Preparation is in our nature, and that’s not a bad thing! Goals and ambitions are great, and they mold us into purposeful, enthusiastic people. The danger in our planning nature resides in our neglect to align our plans with God’s. We all claim to want to live in God’s will, up until it disrupts the plans we have for our lives, careers and relationships. Being so objective-orientated, which most Americans are, can be a slippery slope. It often leads to control issues and an over-dominant mentality, which defeats the purpose of giving your life to the Lord.
It’s difficult to fight against our planning nature and to include the trust we have in Jesus and His plan for our lives, into the life we are actually living. Jeremiah 29: 11 tells us, “‘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.’” This verse is famous for the encouragement and peace it offers, but how can we move forward in life while keeping this truth in our hearts? What does it look like to plan for our own lives, while also trusting in His timing?
A dear friend of mine introduced me to the concept of “living with open hands.” This phrase describes a lifestyle that a lot of Christians don’t tap into, which is how we can end up missing the whole adventure of living like Christ. This friend truly does live her life with open hands – accepting, rejoicing and chasing after whatever opportunities the Lord presents her with. She passionately, trustingly and relentlessly seeks the Lord and is willing to abandon any of her own plans for the chance to pursue the Lord, no matter what that looks like.
I hope to live this way, as well. I want to be willing to adjust and mold to whatever circumstances the Lord hands me, and I want to use every life situation to bring His name glory. God’s timing is one of the most incredible elements of life, but only if we choose to tune in and trust it. Rather than stressing over life’s timing, we could focus that energy towards following the Lord’s plan and trusting His timing. If we truly adopted this mindset, not only would our life begin to align with God’s will and timing, but we would also begin to cultivate a unique trust, dependency, and faith in our relationship with Jesus!
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