Why aren’t my faithful plans being protected?
This week I had an exam. My well laid study plans were beginning to unravel and I was becoming anxious and annoyed.“What about God?” I thought, “Didn’t he commend my honorable plans to equip well for his service? Why weren’t my plans being protected?”
When I considered how Jesus dealt with interruptions I found that, rather than becoming anxious or annoyed, he responded with love and wisdom. Even when he endured suffering he was not unraveled. This, I believe is clear evidence of his consistent commitment to God’s good and glorious plans – plans to bring about the greatest good the world has ever seen! In contrast my focus is still too often on my plans for me rather than God’s.
Peace in Surrender
When I first embraced the gospel many years ago it was this very truth that captured my attention. I discovered that ignoring God’s authority and living according to my own agenda was actually rebelling against Him. It was actually working against the very good he wanted to do in my life. No wonder the occasional desperate prayer I offered met with apparent silence! Once I surrendered to God’s benevolent authority, I also began to value His character-forming purposes in the painful things he brought into my life.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son …” Romans 8:28-29a
The Gospel in Everyday Lives
This gospel principle is still just as relevant to me today. My Father-God is still calling me to surrender my agenda to his in every aspect of my life. While I recently pursued equipping in the form of assignments and an exam, God chose to give me a bit of additional coursework. He challenged me to surrender exam excellence for the greater call to love others as Christ’s ambassador. I am repeatedly finding that the more I value God’s glorious agenda described in the Bible, the less anxious I am when my own hopes are thwarted.