“Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?” Isaiah 53:1b MSG
Life is unpredictable. We make our plans and chart our course, but we never really know how things are going to turn out. Even the most faithful, ardent followers of Jesus are still only able to “see as through a glass dimly” (1 Cor. 13:12). Now, the unpredictability of future events excites a good number of people, namely the adventurous and those open to the unknown. For those of us who are like me, unpredictability is a little bit more than unsettling, to say the least.
I like to have my “ducks in a row.” I even have contingency plans for some of my contingency plans. But when real life shows up, when things that are unforeseen and unpredictable happen, it’s in these moments where faith seems (for me, at least) to be challenged the most. In whom will you place your trust? Will I trust that the Lord is in control or will I give in to anxieties and fears? My desire for structure, order, control, and sovereignty (though limited, of course) can sometimes subtly convince me I’m more in control than I really am. The limited sovereignty with which I have been endowed by the Creator is not ultimate sovereignty. Only God himself has ultimate sovereignty and I will never be God. Only God is God; only He knows “the beginning from the end” and only He knows the infinitesimal details of His master plan.
For those of us who have a saving relationship with God the Father through His Son by the Spirit, we know full well that it can be easy to “get ahead of God” when it comes to our short-term and long-term plans. We pray, we fast, we attempt to discern the Lord’s will in the matter, but rashness and impatience is always there pushing us on to make assumptions about His will and His plan. But I’m reminded that we have to hold on to these plans, intentions, goals and aspirations loosely in order for God to direct our course for us. When we hold on to things too tightly we may run the risk of resisting God’s movement and direction in our lives.
In getting a mere glimpse into Yahweh’s redemptive plan of sending a Messiah who would be a Suffering Servant (prior to becoming a Conquering King) on route to redemption and glorification, Isaiah sits there and says, “Who would’ve thought that God would have planned things out this way?” Answer: No one. At the end of the day we need to come to grips with the fact that God is God, His plan is His plan, and we need to be flexible enough to let God be God in our lives and direct our steps accordingly.
Question of the day?
How tightly am I holding on to the future plans for my life?