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The Master Planner

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You know, we humans are a funny bunch, aren’t we?

Think for a moment, if you will, about the things that we as believers trust to God. We trust Him with our families. We trust Him with our daily safety and well-being. We trust Him with the salvation of our very souls.

And yet . . . how many of us trust Him with our schedule?

I’ve been mulling this over for a while, and I think I might have a hunch about why this is. Consider that if we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that we have little control over the health of our family, over our own daily safety and over the fate of our souls. Perhaps that’s why we’re ‘okay’ with letting God cover these things; part of us whispers that we can’t do much about those, anyway.

But we probably reason, albeit subconsciously, that when it comes to things like our finances and our daily schedules, we’re capable of handling those. That’s okay, Eternal God and Runner of the Universe . . . I can handle my calendar. You worry about something else. Something bigger. 

I first came upon this idea of trust God with the everyday some time ago. Catherine Marshall wrote about her sense that God desires us to turn to Him for every detail of our lives in her books Something More and Beyond Ourselves. I remember being intrigued with this notion; the Creator and Ruler of all that is, seen and unseen, wants to concern Himself with what I make for dinner? With my grocery shopping?

There’s plenty of scriptural evidence to say that He does. We really only have to look at the gospels and at how Jesus lived to see that He was interested in the smallest details of life. Peter’s mother-in-law is ill, and He heals her. Friends run out of wine at their wedding, and He supplies the very best. He speaks easily of sweeping floors, of planting gardens and of organizing day laborers.

But what does this look like in real life? Does it mean that we sit down with a blank date book and wait for God to fill it in, the way He apparently chiseled the Ten Commandments for Moses? I don’t think so. I think–probably–there are a few ways we can begin to turn to the Almighty for His input.

First, when we make plans, we should begin with prayer. We intentionally turn over our weeks, our days–our hours and minutes–to He Who rules them anyway. That way, once we begin to set up our schedules, we’ve already taken a position of submission.

The second step can be a little more difficult to learn. It’s a matter of daily trust. This is something about which I’ve begun to be more intentional. (Or at least, I’m trying.) When plans I’ve made change, I don’t fight it–even it’s disappointing or irritating. I try to trust that He who knows everything just might be protecting me from something I can’t see–or making possible something much more wonderful than I can imagine.

It might sound easy, but it’s not always. Take, for instance, a few weeks ago when I waited all day at home for a repairman who was supposed to perform maintenance on our air conditioner. He didn’t show up, and when I called the company, they claimed that they’d called me, although my phone had never rung. That happened twice more, on two other days. I wasn’t particularly happy, but at the same time, I had committed to trust God with my schedule. So I took a deep breath and muttered, “There must be a good reason.”

I don’t know what that might be, except that being forced to stay at home wasn’t a bad thing. I accomplished more than I might have otherwise. I was able to allow my daughter to use my car. Was I protected from some unknown harm? I don’t know. I’ll never know.

A big part of this trust and submission is being content in all circumstances. It means, as Paul says, giving thanks no matter what. It means not being angry or annoyed when plans change, or when things don’t work out as we think they might–or should. It means saying, “My plan was good . . . but God’s is better.”

This is a daily discipline. It doesn’t happen quickly. But if we ask God to help us see His hand in everything and we make it a practice to offer Him dominion over the details of our lives . . . we’ll find that peace follows.

Matthew 10:30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

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